Sesame Online Therapy Review for 2024

Jan 18, 2024
Fact Checked
Written by: Hillary Eames
Medically Reviewed by: Haley Stricker, LPC

Online therapy offers a way to receive mental health care from the convenience and comfort of your own home. According to the American Psychological Association, online therapy, also called teletherapy, involves interacting with a mental health provider through a website, telephone, or app.1 Research indicates that for treating anxiety, depression, and trauma, online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy.2

Sesame is one of many websites that offers therapy sessions with licensed mental health providers through video calls over the internet. In our review, we cover the pros and cons of Sesame, how the platform works, how much it costs, whether it accepts insurance, and more.

Pros and cons of Sesame Care

Offers psychiatry, individual therapy, and couples therapy
Offers same-day telehealth appointments, depending on provider availability
Offers multiple telehealth services in addition to mental health
Prices vary by provider and state of residence
Doesn’t accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid
Some negative reviews mention late or missed appointments

What is Sesame Care?

Sesame, also called Sesame Care, is a telehealth platform that provides care for physical and mental health concerns. You can use the website to look for doctors in your area, search by specific specialties or symptoms, and schedule an online or in-person appointment. Some of its specialties include urgent care, cardiology, primary care, and mental health care.

For mental health care, you can access individual therapy as well as couples therapy and family counseling. You can also use the platform for psychiatry consultations and to request refills on your prescription medications that treat mental health conditions.

How does Sesame Care work?

Sesame Care lists the four types of appointments you can schedule on its platform.
Selecting “mental health” on Sesame’s homepage brings you to a landing page where you can schedule a teletherapy or psychiatry appointment.

To use Sesame’s online therapy services, use the left-hand menu to select “Mental health” under “Types of care.” The mental health page indicates the types of services you can choose from, such as an individual or couples therapy session, a virtual prescription refill visit, or a video mental health consultation with a psychiatric provider who can prescribe medication as part of your treatment plan. If you have your location enabled, Sesame Care will automatically show you providers licensed to practice within your state. Some doctors may have appointment times during evenings and weekends.

Four video mental health consultation providers with their available appointment times.
Once you choose the type of service you need, you will be presented with a list of providers and their available appointment times.

When you click on the time you’d like to choose for your appointment, you’ll see a pop-up window advertising Sesame Plus, which is a subscription designed to help you save on all Sesame health care, including therapy and psychiatry. Sesame Plus members save $10 on every telehealth and primary care visit and $30 on all in-person dentist or specialist visits. Members also get one free lab or blood test per year. If you choose to subscribe, you can either pay $10.99 per month or $99 per year.

The pop-up advertising Sesame Plus gives you two options: activate your membership or select “maybe later.” Our Reviews Team chose “maybe later” and was able to schedule an appointment without a Sesame Plus membership.

After making your selection, you can make your appointment. First, you’ll enter your contact and payment information. You have the option to save your information for future appointments by creating a free Sesame Care account, which requires an email address and password. Sesame Care’s platforms and systems are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which is the federal law restricting the release of medical information. To keep your payments secure, Sesame uses Stripe, the same third-party payment platform used by Amazon, Instacart, and, among others.

If you need to cancel an online appointment, you can do so up to three hours before your scheduled time for a full refund. You’ll be charged full price for any cancellations within the three-hour timeframe. For same-day appointments, you need to cancel within one hour of booking your appointment in order to avoid being charged full price.

How to get medication with Sesame Care

To receive a prescription, you need to schedule a mental health consultation or psychiatry visit with a provider who can prescribe medication. If the provider decides your prescription is medically necessary, they can send the prescription to your local pharmacy for pickup.

The price you’ll pay will depend on the pharmacy you choose. You may need to pick up your prescription in person if your pharmacy doesn’t offer prescription delivery.

How much does Sesame Care cost?

Sesame Care offers two different cost options for appointments. You can either pay per visit with an individual provider, or you can join Sesame Plus for $10.99 per month, or $99 per year. The monthly Sesame Plus membership gives you discounted rates for appointments and services. The Sesame Care website, for example, says that a one-time visit for a video therapy session might cost $72, while a Sesame Plus member would pay $52 for the same video therapy session, on top of the monthly membership fee.

Sesame works outside of insurance networks, and doctors handle their own administration through the platform. By cutting out administration costs and payments to insurance, Sesame Care providers are able to offer more affordable prices in some cases. Sesame lets each health care provider set their prices, which depend on where you live and the type of mental health care you need. When searching for online therapy on, our Reviews Team found providers offering appointments for as low as $35.

The NCOA BenefitsCheckUp tool can also connect you with programs that can help you save on health care, food, medicine, and more.

Sesame Care payment options

Sesame accepts the following debit or credit cards:

You must pay for your visit online, even if the visit will be in person. You’ll have to enter your card information directly; Sesame does not have the option to pay through another site such as PayPal.

Sesame does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. If your insurance includes a health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA), you can use your HSA or FSA debit card to pay for your Sesame Care visit.

Sesame Care customer service

Sesame offers three main options for contacting customer service: a live chat feature, an email and a phone number. Its phone line is available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. You can email Sesame Care customer service at or call them at 877-947-6411.

Our Reviews Team called Sesame on a Saturday at noon ET to verify whether we could get brand-name drugs, and our call was answered in about three minutes. The representative was courteous, helpful, and informative.

Our Reviews Team also reached out to Sesame Care customer service using the live chat feature on a Thursday, also around noon ET. We asked the same question about prescriptions. We were given three generic answers about prescriptions from a bot, then asked if these answered our question. When we said these answers did not help, Sesame Care’s bot said there were no live chat agents available at the time, but the question could be submitted to customer service via email instead. Our Reviews Team member did so and received a detailed answer to their question within approximately three hours.

Table 1, Sesame Care vs. other brands comparison, as of January 2024

Therapy platformSession typesCost per monthOffers financial aidAccepts insurance
BetterHelpAudio, chat, video$240–$360 YesNo
SesameVideoDepends on providerNoNo
ZocDocVideoDepends on providerNoNo

Customer reviews of Sesame Care

Since Sesame Care is a telehealth platform, reviews cover the use of all of its services, not just mental health. Sesame has an A- rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with an average rating of 3.94 out of 5 stars out of 98 reviews. Sesame has been BBB accredited since 2022. Businesses have no obligation to seek accreditation, and some businesses are unaccredited because they haven’t applied.

Many of the negative Sesame reviews on BBB focus on patients’ experiences with the doctors themselves. Sesame online doctor reviews report practitioners who were late or missed their scheduled appointments. Other Sesame doctor reviews highlight rude or unresponsive doctors. Some customer complaints address Sesame medical care directly, noting difficulty receiving refunds or trouble with customer service. Sesame responded to all of the 10 complaints made against it over the last three years.

On Trustpilot, Sesame Care reviews are more positive. They average a 4.2-star rating with over 1,200 reviews, with more than 78% of them rating Sesame 5 stars. Positive reviews highlight the speed, efficiency, and convenience of the service. Similar to BBB, negative reviews tend to focus on difficulty receiving refunds and trouble with customer service. Sesame doctor reviews are mixed as well, with negative reviews citing late, unresponsive, or unhelpful providers. Sesame Care is also more active on Trustpilot than BBB. The company has claimed its profile on Trustpilot, which allows it to reply to reviews.3

Bottom line

Sesame Care can be a convenient and effective way to access online therapy. Pricing varies and depends on the service you choose, the provider you choose, and your state of residence since you can’t choose a provider who is not licensed in your state, even if you’re accessing your visits online.

If you are hoping to use insurance for mental health benefits, Sesame may not be the best choice, since its providers do not accept insurance. But if you’re looking for same-day appointments or you’re interested in the ability to book appointments as you need them instead of committing to a subscription, Sesame may be a good online therapy option.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, Sesame is a legitimate health care company. Sesame Care is certified by LegitScript, an independent company that reviews health care sites to ensure they’re safe, trustworthy, and reliable.4 All of the doctors on Sesame are board-certified, and they’re required to share their education history, licensure, and clean discipline record with Sesame to participate on the site. Sesame Care’s platforms and systems are HIPAA-compliant, and it uses Stripe to ensure payments remain secure.

No—it’s only available on your desktop. If you want to access Sesame Care on your phone, you can use your phone’s web browser and sign in to your account from there.

Sesame providers can prescribe anything medically appropriate, which includes mental health medications. The only types of medication Sesame providers cannot prescribe are narcotics and controlled substances. If you prefer a brand-name prescription, you may need to request this from your provider in order to avoid being prescribed the generic version.

No, Sesame does not accept insurance. Sesame describes its care as “complementary” to your health insurance, meaning you can use Sesame Care to find affordable care options that may or may not be covered by insurance. Sesame does allow you to use HSA or FSA funds to pay for appointments, but it doesn’t work directly with insurance companies. Instead, you pay providers directly, which means Sesame is available to all patients regardless of insurance status.

A Sesame Care coupon code is available for first-time patients. Use Sesame promo code “BETTER50” for 50% off your first visit.

Sesame medical care includes mental health care, but the platform offers multiple health services. For example, Sesame urgent care allows you to see a telehealth provider, usually on the same day. You can also schedule appointments for dermatology, imaging, labs, and other specialties.

If a user schedules a one-time visit, they can switch providers the next time they schedule a visit if they did not have a good experience with a provider. If they do schedule recurring appointments with a provider through Sesame, they can similarly switch providers through the platform at any time and schedule an appointment with a new provider.

The American Psychological Association notes that online therapy can be good for people who want convenient and accessible therapy at home, especially if starting therapy for the first time.5 Online therapy can help with issues such as mild to moderate depression, anxiety, grief counseling, sleep disturbances, family or relationship concerns, and substance use disorders. Online therapy can also be a good option for those with physical limitations, transportation challenges, or who live in areas with limited access to mental health care professionals. Everyone who uses online therapy should feel comfortable using technology and interacting in an online format.

Online therapy is not appropriate for people who prefer an in-person therapeutic experience, those in crisis, and those uncomfortable using or learning new technologies. Dr. Neelima Kunam, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist who practices in the Midwest and California, also noted that “those with difficulties with attention span may need in-person focused attention to absorb and listen to what the therapist is offering.”

Online therapy is not right for those in crisis. Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm should call the 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline to connect to more immediate help and then get connected to local mental health services. You can also contact 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) National Helpline. Online therapy is also not a good option for those newly diagnosed and treated for depression, persons with serious mental illness, and persons with behavioral symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, such as paranoia.

Have questions about this review? Email us at


  1. American Psychological Association. What you need to know before choosing online therapy. Found on the Internet at
  2. National Center for Health Research. Does Online Therapy Work? Found on the internet at
  3. Trustpilot Help Center. What do ‘Unclaimed profile,’ ‘Claimed profile,’ and ‘Asks for reviews’ mean? Found on the internet at
  4. LegitScript. Healthcare Merchant Certification. Found on the Internet at
  5. American Psychological Association. A growing wave of online therapy. Found on the internet at
Hillary Eames
Hillary Eames Author
Hillary Eames is a health care writer and journalist. She’s written about health care for five years, and her content has been published in MD News, Gizmodo, and Everyday Health, among others. She’s written about a variety of health and medical news topics, ranging from oxygen concentrators to mental health to online optometry. She holds a bachelor of arts in English from Covenant College. She currently resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Haley Stricker is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in eating disorders, marriage and family counseling, women’s health, and trauma. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, GA.
Kathleen Cameron
Kathleen Cameron Reviewer
Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, has more than 25 years of experience in the health care field as a pharmacist, researcher, and program director focusing on falls prevention, geriatric pharmacotherapy, mental health, long-term services and supports, and caregiving. Cameron is Senior Director of the NCOA Center for Healthy Aging, where she provides subject matter expertise on health care programmatic and policy related issues and oversees the Modernizing Senior Center Resource Center.
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