'Amazon Clinic' Offers Medical Care From The Comfort of Home

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  • For many people, getting to a doctor's office can be a hassle.
  • You can now get medical care through your laptop thanks to Amazon.
  • Amazon Clinic doesn't take insurance, but if you have an HSA or FSA, you can use funds from that to pay for your visit. 

The online retail giant might now save you a trip to the doctor or urgent care center.

It's hard to believe that Amazon started out as just an online book seller. These days, you can buy just about anything on Amazon, from groceries to apparel to toys. And you can do a lot more than shop on Amazon. You can also stream music, TV shows, and movies, plus access books digitally.

But Amazon really wants to be a one-stop shop for customers. And so now, if you need a doctor, you can actually find one on Amazon.

Have you tried Amazon Clinic?

Amazon Clinic is a newer service offered by Amazon that's available in 33 states. And it offers the benefit of being able to receive medical treatment without having to leave your house.

If you don't have a car, it might be a hassle to get over to see a doctor when you fall ill. Similarly, if you don't have access to childcare, getting seen for a medical issue in person can be tough. 

With Amazon Clinic, you can save yourself the trip to the doctor or urgent care center. Instead, you can connect with a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner online and message with them about your condition. Once a professional is able to make a diagnosis, they'll either give you medical advice or write you a prescription to treat the issue at hand.

An easy way to get the care you need

To use the service, start by locating the condition you're struggling with on the Amazon Clinic homepage. From there, you can click on that condition to get options and prices for connecting with a physician.

Each online clinic sets its own prices, and prices vary by treatment. You should also know that the cost of any medication you might need isn’t included in your visit. If you end up getting a prescription, you can fill it at the pharmacy of your choice. 

How does health insurance factor in?

Unfortunately, Amazon Clinic does not accept health insurance at this time. You'll need to be prepared to see a charge for healthcare on your credit card instead. 

That said, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health spending account (HSA), both of which let you set aside pre-tax dollars for medical spending, you are allowed to pay using one of these accounts. Often, you'll get a debit card from your FSA or HSA provider, and that could be your payment source when using Amazon Clinic. Another option is to pay with a credit card and then submit the expense to your FSA or HSA provider for reimbursement.

You should also know that while Amazon Clinic doesn't take insurance, you can use your health insurance to pay for a medication you're prescribed (assuming your plan covers it). But if you don't have insurance, be sure to budget the cost of medication into your treatment. 

It's great that Amazon is offering people the chance to get access to healthcare via their laptops. That said, Amazon Clinic isn't necessarily your most affordable bet for medical treatment if you have insurance. You may decide to use the service for the convenience factor, but if you have good insurance, don't be surprised if it's not the most economical option.

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