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With the advent of Amazon Clinic, the e-commerce giant has entered the digital healthcare space — and it could save you money and a trip to the doctor’s office.

Available in 33 states, the virtual health center offers chat-based consultations, prescription renewals, and personalized treatment plans, including prescription drugs sent right to your door. Like the MinuteClinic at CVS, Amazon’s service is perfect for everyday healthcare issues like seasonal allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, COVID-19, and birth control. 

In other words, it is decidedly not a replacement for complicated conditions and diseases that require a specialist. Nevertheless, the up-front pricing, broad customer care hours, and the convenience of telehealth make it an appealing option for basic health concerns. Here’s how it works.

Finding Treatment

Amazon Clinic looks a lot like any Amazon page, except it presents you with a list of 25 everyday health conditions eligible for treatment. Once you’ve found what ails you, you’ll be presented with an easy-to-understand summary alongside the price you’ll pay for consultation, a list of commonly prescribed medications, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Right now, Amazon works with two virtual  primary care clinics in my state, HealthTap and SteadyMD, both of which offer consults for between $30 and $40 per visit. Amazon also offers a handy comparison chart, showing you what medicines they won’t prescribe, the number of refills they’ll grant, and their respective business hours.

Keep in mind that Amazon Clinic’s consults are not covered by insurance, though they are FSA- and HSA-eligible. Still, you could save money if you’re not insured or have a copay that exceeds $30.

Amazon Clinic ScreenshotPhoto credit: Maxwell Shukuya / Cheapism

Your Virtual Appointment

After answering a series of questions and adding additional information in the notes section, you’ll pay for your consultation and receive a text message with further instructions. Eventually, you’ll receive a message from your clinician — a doctor or nurse practitioner — and a treatment plan. The service also lets you ask follow-up questions for up to 14 days after your appointment.

Your Prescription

Though it’s not a requirement, you can fill your prescription through the integrated Amazon Pharmacy for maximum convenience. Prime customers will receive their medication in two days. Unlike the Amazon Clinic, Amazon Pharmacy does accept health insurance.

In Brief

  • Available in 33 states, Amazon Clinic offers chat-based consultations and treatment plans for 25 basic health conditions.
  • Consultations cost a flat fee, between $30 and $40, and are not covered by health insurance.
  • Visits are text-based and can include a prescription.
  • You can fill your prescription at a local drug store or through Amazon Pharmacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Amazon Clinic safe?

Amazon says that it “rigorously” vets online clinics before they join the company’s service and that all of its clinicians are licensed and located in the U.S. Once you’ve made an appointment, you can also see your clinician’s credentials. Beyond the quality of Amazon Clinic’s health care, protecting your health information should also be a concern. Although Amazon says that it is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), sharing your information online always comes with risks. For more information, you can visit Amazon Clinic’s privacy page.

Does Amazon Clinic take health insurance?

Unlike Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon Clinic does not take health insurance but does accept HSA and FSA payments. That means that you’ll have to pay out of pocket for your consultation — around $30 to $40. You can pay with all major credit and debit cards.

Do you have to be an Amazon Prime member to use Amazon Clinic?

You do not need Amazon Prime. Amazon Clinic offers its services to all patients between 18 and 64 who also live in one of 33 eligible states.

Does Amazon Clinic take Medicare or Medicaid?

Although Amazon Pharmacy may accept Medicare and Medicaid plans, Amazon Clinic does not yet service patients on government health insurance programs.

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