Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions

Where can I find more information about PlushCare?

You can read patient reviews on Yelp, Facebook and TrustPilot. You can also see that PlushCare has been given an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. For any additional questions, please call us at 1-800-221-5140.

What if I already have a primary care physician?

PlushCare is not meant to replace your primary care physician, but rather support that relationship. For example, it’s estimated that 70% of physician visits can be handled via phone. However, there are times when we will recommend you see your primary care physician in person or help guide you to one if you do not have an existing relationship.

What states does PlushCare work in?

PlushCare is currently available in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State. We are adding new states every month so if we're not currently available in your area, please check back again in the future.

Are you a subscription service?

No. PlushCare is not a subscription service. We provide physician consultations when you need to use us. There are no monthly or annual charges.

Does PlushCare offer a discount to veterans and active military?

Yes, we're extremely grateful for the services you provide our country. Veterans and active military pay only $49 per visit. Please email a copy of your military ID to info@plushcare.com.

Are there any additional fees besides the visit fee (besides the cost of the consultation)?

There are no recurring fees for the visit. Your visit fee includes everything but the cost of your medications at the pharmacy. We do provide a discount card for medications upon completion of the visit.

How much does an appointment with a PlushCare doctor cost?

It's just $99 flat (no hidden or additional fees). If you have health insurance from a payer we accept, we will charge you your copay or coinsurance.

What Can PlushCare Do For Me?

What if I want and/or my condition requires lab work?

We are electronically integrated with Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. Your PlushCare doctor will send the lab referral electronically to the most convenient testing facility in your area. He or she will receive the results electronically and follow-up with you immediately after.

What conditions can you treat?

We can diagnose, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication for non-emergency medical issues including: cold and flu symptoms, bronchitis, allergies, poison ivy, pink eye, urinary tract infection, respiratory infection, sinus problems, ear infection and more!

Can I book a walk-in appointment with PlushCare?

No, PlushCare is solely defined as a telemedicine company. We do not have any physical walk-in clinics, however, our physicians are still able to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications via the phone or video consultation.

What happens if the doctor cannot solve my issue?

Your credit card is not charged when you book an appointment. It will only be charged 30 minutes after your appointment is complete. If the doctor cannot solve your health issue, the doctor lets our Clinical Team know, and they make sure to not charge your credit card.

Does PlushCare have advice nurses?

No. PlushCare does not have any advice nurses at this time.

Can PlushCare prescribe PrEP?

Yes! All PlushCare doctors can prescribe you PrEP. If you think you might want to take PrEP, book an appointment with one of our doctors today. They can answer all of your questions about PrEP and advise on a treatment plan that is best for you. More FAQ about PrEP below under "PrEP FAQ".

Can PlushCare prescribe PEP?

Yes! If you were exposed to HIV, our doctors can prescribe PEP (post exposure prophylaxis). Our doctors can order HIV testing, prescribe PEP, and order a repeat test to make sure you stay negative.

What About My Insurance?

Do I need to have health insurance to use PlushCare?

No. PlushCare does not require health insurance. We will accept your insurance copay or deductible if you do have health insurance. Otherwise our visit fee is just $99 flat (no hidden or additional fees).

Does PlushCare work with my health insurance?

PlushCare accepts the copays of most Anthem Blue Cross, BCBS, Blue Shield of California, Cigna & United plans. For plans with high deductibles, PlushCare will claim the full cost of the appointment with your insurance company. Have a question regarding your health insurance? Call our PlushCare Team: 1-800-221-5140.

Medical Questions

How does my PlushCare doctor write me a prescription?

Upon completion of your appointment, your doctor will send the prescription electronically to the pharmacy indicated in your profile for immediate pickup.

PlushCare prescription refill policy:

Our doctors are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription for any previously prescribed medications. They use their medical judgement to determine whether to prescribe and for how long. They will have the prescription sent to the pharmacy of your choice. Gabapentin Policy: We require you to send in a form of ID. Our PlushCare doctors can prescribe you a 30-day supply every six months.

What medications can PlushCare give prescriptions for?

Some common prescriptions include but are not limited to Amoxicillin™, Azithromycin™, Bactrim DS™, Augmentin™, Cipro™, Tessalon Perles™, Flonase Nasal Spray™, Pyridium™, Prednisone™, Diflucan™, and more.

Are there medications that PlushCare will not prescribe?

We are unable to prescribe certain classes of medications including controlled substances such as narcotics (Vicodin, oxycodone, Percocet, morphine), sleep aids and sedatives (Ativan, Klonapin, Xanax, Ambien, Lunestra), stimulant medications (Ritalin, Adderall, Provigil), psychiatric medications (Abilify, Prozac, Seroquel, Zoloft), or medicinal marijuana. This list is non-inclusive.

What are the proper methods of disposing unused medicines?

Please reference the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for information on how to properly dispose of unused medicines. The direct link can be found here.

PlushCare Security

Is PlushCare HIPAA Compliant?

Yes, PlushCare is HIPAA compliant and our electronic medical records are held in a private electronic health records system. Our team has gone through extensive training to ensure that patient information is thoroughly protected. Any database or web platform that we use is also HIPAA compliant.

Is the video consultation secure?

Yes, our video visits, phone calls, and emailing system meet HIPAA requirements, and the highest industry standards so you can have a safe, secure, and confidential consult.

Is my credit card information secure?

Yes. Your credit card information is kept safe and is not shared with anyone outside the organization.

Is my medical information safe?

Yes. Your health and privacy are our top priorities. PlushCare services are all HIPAA compliant. Your information is kept confidential and is not shared with anyone outside the organization.

Are doctors legally allowed to prescribe medications through PlushCare?

PlushCare’s telemedicine service is available to residents in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, and New Jersey. This service is legal in the aforementioned states but may not be legal in other states. As such, the service is only offered to people currently located in the states listed and only uses clinicians who are licensed in those states to prescribe medication through the telemedicine service offered on our website. Patients should be advised that, as a telemedicine practice, PlushCare’s physicians prescribe medication pursuant to a standard patient-prescriber relationship, which requires the following to have been established: a) The patient has a legitimate medical complaint; b) A face-to-face physical examination adequate to establish the legitimacy of the medical complaint has been performed by the prescribing practitioner, or through a telemedicine practice approved by the appropriate practitioner board; and c) A logical connection exists between the medical complaint, the medical history, and the physical examination and the drug prescribed.

Can I send personal information to you by email?

We suggest that when sending us communication by email you do not include any sensitive information such as medical information, refill requests, social security numbers, or credit card numbers as email is not considered a secure method of communication. By sending an email and communicating with PlushCare via email generally, you acknowledge that you are aware that email is not considered a secure method of communication, and you assume the risk of such unsecured communication.

Video Instructions

Do I have to download the PlushCare App to join my Video Session?

No, but you must use device with video capabilities. You may also use a computer with a camera to complete their Video Session. The PlushCare App provides patients with a convenient way to speak to a doctor without the use of a computer.

When do I join my video session?

Three minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

How do I join my video session? (iPhone)

Log in using email and password. Click on “Current Appointments” at the bottom of your screen. Tap on “Enter Video Session” about 3 minutes before your appointment time. If you have any questions please call us at 1(800) 221-5140.

How do I join my video session? (Android)

Log in using email and password. Go to “Dashboard” by clicking on the drop down menu on the left corner of your home page. Tap on “Start Video” about 3 minutes before your appointment time. If you have any questions please call us at 1(800) 221-5140.

How do I join my video session? (Chrome/Firefox/Opera browser)

Log in using email and password. Click on “Your Profile” at the top right corner of your screen. Select “My Appointments” and, about 3 minutes before your appointment time, click on “Start”. If you have any questions please call us at 1(800) 221-5140.

When will the doctor join the video session?

The Doctor will join the video session promptly at your scheduled appointment time.

What happens if the Doctor did not join the video session?

If your Doctor did not join the video session please call us immediately at 1(800) 221-5140.

What should I do if I don’t see my current appointment when I log in?

Make sure to be logged in using your username and password. Then go ahead and check to see that you have added a preferred pharmacy to your profile. If you don’t see your current appointment but received a confirmation email, please call us at 1(800) 221-5140. If you did not receive a confirmation email, the appointment may not have been successfully scheduled.

I missed my appointment, what should I do?

You can call 1(800) 221-5140 to reschedule your appointment!

My computer camera is not compatible with the PlushCare website?

If you experience technical difficulties prior to your appointment please contact us at 1(800) 221-5140. The PlushCare website works best with Chrome and Firefox and Opera browsers. Make sure that you’re allowing PlushCare to access your camera within the settings of your device. If you’re experiencing any difficulties or need help navigating this process, feel free to call us at 1(800) 221-5140.

Entering the iPhone video session

How do I enter the video session with my doctor in my iPhone? (visuals included)

Entering the Android video session

How do I enter the video session with my doctor on my Android device? (visuals included)

PrEP FAQs

Can PlushCare prescribe PrEP?

Yes! All PlushCare doctors can prescribe you PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). If you think you might want to take PrEP, book an appointment with one of our doctors today. They can answer all of your questions about PrEP and advise on a treatment plan that is best for you.

Who can take PrEP?

PrEP is for people who are HIV negative, are over 18 years of age, and meet one or more of the following criteria: Don’t use condoms every time Have sex with multiple partners Have had STDs before, once or multiple times Have a partner who is HIV positive or is of unknown status Inject recreational drugs Are trying to get pregnant with an HIV positive partner PrEP isn’t for everyone, but for those at risk it is a safe and effective way to prevent HIV. Don’t take PrEP unless you were prescribed it by a physician. Speak with our doctors today if you have questions.

Who shouldn’t take PrEP?

PrEP is not for people who are HIV positive or have recent symptoms of a new HIV infection. If you think you have symptoms of HIV, or are unsure, book an appointment with one of our doctors, or see another doctor, to get treatment immediately. PrEP is more risky or not recommended for people who have severe kidney disease, osteoporosis, chronic hepatitis B, or pregnant women. Talk to one of our doctors about getting on PrEP or finding another treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

Why should I take a pill every day to prevent HIV?

For someone who is at risk for getting HIV, taking a pill a day is a small price to pay for preventing HIV. Just like women preventing pregnancy by taking a birth control pill, you can prevent HIV by taking PrEP every day.

Does PrEP work if I think I was just exposed to HIV?

PrEP is preventative. It is NOT for taking after you are exposed to HIV. Rather, PrEP is taken daily in order to prevent HIV before you are exposed. Another medicine regimen, called PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), can be prescribed and works if you take it within 72 hours of an exposure, so act fast. Get an appointment with one of our doctors to get PEP, or get to an ER immediately if you have been exposed and ask about PEP.

Can PlushCare prescribe PEP (post exposure prophylaxis)?

Yes! If you were exposed to HIV, our doctors can prescribe PEP. Our doctors can order HIV testing, prescribe PEP, and order a repeat test to make sure you stay negative.

Besides the pill, what else do I have to do to get PrEP?

Taking the pill daily, getting tested for HIV and other blood work once every 3 months, and seeing a doctor regularly are all necessary parts of PrEP.

Does PrEP prevent other STDs?

PrEP does NOT prevent other STDs. Wearing condoms every time is the most effective way of preventing most STDs.

How well does PrEP work?

PrEP, when taken every day, is 99% effective in preventing HIV. You can learn about the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) review of the clinical trials and studies that enabled FDA approval of PrEP.

My regular doctor won’t prescribe PrEP, what should I do?

PrEP is relatively new, and not everyone knows about it (both patients AND doctors). We are here to help. You can get PrEP from PlushCare because all of our doctors are trained on prescribing and monitoring PrEP, so that everyone who needs it can get it.

About Truvada - The PrEP Medicine

What medicine is PrEP?

Truvada is the only PrEP medicine that is FDA approved for adults. It is one pill (two drugs in one: emtricitabine and tenofovir) that you take every day. You may have heard about other forms of PrEP (e.g. shot, other pills), but all of these have years of clinical trials before FDA approval for the public.

Do I take PrEP forever?

PrEP only needs to be taken while you are at high risk of HIV. As your life and sexual habits change, you may or may not need to continue PrEP - this is a question you and your doctor should discuss regularly. With PlushCare, you can book an appointment to speak with a doctor from anywhere at your convenience as your needs change.

How quickly does PrEP work?

PrEP takes about 7 days before it is fully effective in rectal tissue, which is the most common need. For the first week you are on PrEP, you should continue to use condoms every time you have sex in order to prevent HIV. If you are concerned about other STDs (e.g. gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, etc.), condom use is encouraged as PrEP is only effective for preventing HIV. It may take longer for PrEP to be effective in vaginal tissue, oral tissue, or for injection drug users, so it is best to talk with your doctor about your specific needs.

What happens if I miss a dose?

PrEP is most effective when taken every single day. When taken less than 4 days per week, the effectiveness drops dramatically. If you miss a dose, make sure to take the next one - there is no need to double up. If you take 7 PrEP pills per week, the level of protection is about 99%. If you take 4 PrEP pills per week, the level of protection is about 96%.

What are the side effects of Truvada?

Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and dizziness, are usually minor symptoms that get better after about a month. Changes in your kidney function are possible, and this is why you need blood tests every 3 months to catch anything as early as possible. Some people have bone demineralization when taking Truvada. The effect was minor and went away after stopping, but it is important to be aware of.

Is it safe to drink alcohol or use other recreational drugs while on Truvada for PrEP?

Yes - there are no known interactions with recreational drugs and Truvada.

Is PrEP safe with other prescriptions drugs?

For the most part, yes, but this is important to bring up with your PlushCare doctor - always let them know what drugs you are taking!

Can I still get HIV while on PrEP?

Yes, it is possible to get HIV while on PrEP - if you miss a dose or are frequently exposed to the virus, there is a chance the drug may not work. You get tested for HIV every 3 months while on the medicine, and it is important to know early and talk to a doctor immediately after you find out.

Paying for PrEP

I have private health insurance. Will my health insurance plan cover PrEP?

If you have health insurance, they will almost certainly cover PrEP. They may require some paperwork before you can get the medicine, but that is something we take care of for you. You will pay your normal drug co-pay for PrEP. Email us at info@plushcare.com if you have any questions about insurance coverage.

I have a high deductible plan or my co-pay is too high, what can I do?

The drug maker of Truvada, Gilead, has set up a co-pay assistance program to help cover the cost. You can find out more info here. If you live in San Francisco, Healthy San Francisco covers PrEP costs if you meet the coverage criteria. Learn more here. Email us at info@plushcare.com if you have any questions about insurance coverage.

I don’t have private health insurance and PrEP is too expensive. Can I get Truvada for PrEP for free or discounted?

The drug maker of Truvada, Gilead, has set up an assistance program for the uninsured to help cover the cost if you meet the income criteria. You can find out more info here. There are many places to get low cost PrEP and many government and nonprofit organizations provide assistance. However, this greatly varies by the city and state you reside in. You can find more information on how to find organizations here. If you live in San Francisco, Healthy San Francisco covers PrEP costs if you meet the coverage criteria. Learn more here.