Healthcare is rapidly moving to a more consumer-based system, where individuals shop for healthcare providers and products instead of being assigned one solely based on their location or insurance plan. As this shift continues, more companies are popping up that are devoted to making these consumer choices easy and discreet via a direct-to-consumer telehealth model.
One such company, Wisp, offers telehealth services with a focus on reproductive and sexual healthcare.
Wisp is a direct-to-consumer telehealth company that offers 24/7 care anywhere you connect to the internet. All you need is a device, an acceptable identification card, and a camera.
With just these three items, you’ll have access to Wisp’s healthcare platform that offers:
- STI testing
- Birth control
- Emergency contraception
- Delayed period medication
- Covid antibody tests
- Treatment for minor illnesses
- Medication and consultation for some skin concerns
- Long-term medication refills (for high blood pressure, COPD, depression, and diabetes)
You can also make an appointment with a Wisp doctor even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, just want advice, or are seeking information about a particular over-the-counter or at-home remedy.
If you are given a prescription, you can get that prescription shipped discreetly to your door, or you can also elect to pick up your medication from a local pharmacy.
Wisp guarantees that your order will be processed within 24 hours, even on weekends and holidays. This is crucial in terms of reproductive medications and emergency contraception. It should be noted that this does not include turnaround time from a local pharmacy, if you choose to use one.
Additionally, while most reviews indicate fast service with Wisp, there is a potential for wait times between submitting your symptoms and receiving a consultation with a doctor.
Wisp was founded by Matthew Swartz in 2018. A salesman by nature, Swartz saw the need for discreet, easily accessed healthcare, and started Wisp as an alternative for traditional medical visits and medication refills.
Telehealth grew exponentially in 2020, and continues to rise as patients begin to trust it more and see it as a viable option to their care in lieu of in-person doctor’s visits, which can take up significant time and money.
In this market, a telehealth company is in competition with other platforms like it. Here’s what makes Wisp a great option.
Wisp is affordable, even if you don’t have insurance. Wisp offers two methods of doctor care: unlimited and one-time consultations. The price for unlimited “Wispcare” is $10 per month, and includes unlimited doctor consultations.
The price for one-time consultations is $39 and is paid at the time of your consultation. If you plan to use Wisp for your recurring medication needs, it makes sense to use the monthly unlimited feature. For $120 per year, you can get unlimited care. If you use Wisp more than three times in a year, the monthly subscription plan saves you money.
Additionally, Wisp’s pharmacy offers medications for as low as $5.00 per month. Many birth control pills are available for $5.00 a month, and the most expensive medication we found on their website was $50.00. These prices represent the use of Wisp’s delivery service, and do not include costs if you select your own pharmacy.
Trustpilot user Maddie had this to say:
“I tried using other birth control prescribing delivery services and none of them are as simple as Wisp! It didn’t take long to go through the process, I got it sent to my pharmacy the same day! It’s so simple, a doctor reviewed my case and then helped me with my prescription. It was free with my insurance, I just had to pay a fee for the service. With a discount code, it was cheaper than the other services, too! It’s amazing and I now have a 3-month supply. Thanks Wisp!”
One of the primary tenants of Wisp’s healthcare model is inclusivity. Wisp offers healthcare for “all humans” regardless of gender, age, race, or financial background. You will never feel marginalized by Wisp or feel that a medication or treatment plan you need isn’t accessible to you.
Wisp respects individuality and appreciates that there’s no room for one-size-fits-all treatments in healthcare, especially in terms of reproductive and sexual health.
Obviously, you won’t visit a doctor in person when you use Wisp. In fact, you won’t even have to talk to one on the phone. You’ll fill out an online form describing your symptoms and receive an email back from a doctor with medical advice and prescription information.
If you elect to have medication shipped to your door, it will arrive in a discreet, unmarked box, giving you even more privacy. At-home testing for STIs takes the embarrassment out of making a visit to a lab for testing, and private results are delivered confidentially.
Of virtually any telehealth company we’ve reviewed, Wisp has received the highest marks for customer service. In fact, of the 1,000+ reviews we found for Wisp, not a single one complained about poor customer service.
Even the limited one to two-star ratings made a point of noting that the customer service they received was top-notch, and if they were initially slighted by customer service reps, the company reached out again and corrected the mishap.
Says Trustpilot user Taylor:
“I wrote a review previously with a 2 star rating. Whoa! The customer service was impeccable. I had like 7 different people try to contact me. (I have poor cell service and couldn’t answer the phone) this did not stop them though, they emailed and texted me. They called in the script to a pharmacy near me and refunded some money. Seriously, the BEST customer service. Thank you Wisp for correcting this.”
Wisp is a new company, and even new to the telehealth scene. As it grows, it’s important to know there will be areas that need improvement. Here’s where we saw room for growth and improvement at Wisp.
Wisp began as a primarily reproductive and sexual healthcare company, but has expanded to other areas of healthcare, including general, primary care. This means you can use Wisp for conditions like stomach bugs or even sinus infections.
However, many reviewers feel that their general healthcare services take longer than seeing an in-person physician.
Trustpilot user Hannah says:
“Absolutely awful for urgent care. I have a stomach bug of some sort. I’ve been throwing up all day, but I’m also a single mom and my nanny was not able to work today. I found this site thinking “this could absolutely be a life saver!” Because taking my two year old to an urgent care in the midst of a global pandemic wasn’t exactly something I was fond of.
It said it was estimated 3-5 hours, not ideal, but not whatever, I might throw the medicine up anyways I can wait a few hours. Well, ten hours later, nothing from the doctor. Customer service did respond and just say “they sent a note to the doctor” but I still haven’t heard anything else. Truly, I feel like I just paid $39 for nothing. I’m still sick to my stomach and it didn’t save me a trip to an urgent care because if I still feel like this, I’ll be having to go first thing in the morning.”
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We mentioned earlier that ensuring timely care was vitally important, especially in terms of reproductive health. For instance, if you need a morning-after pill, you need it immediately, not 48 hours later.
Of the one-star reviews that Wisp received, most of them were related to the length of time it took to receive care. Although their website says that orders are processed in 24 hours, that doesn’t always seem to be the case.
One Trustpilot user, Meri states:
“Not a viable option for emergency contraception. After an unfortunate accident with my primary birth control, I needed to follow up with Ella. There is a very limited pharmacy list on the site. Unfortunately, the pharmacy I chose did not have the pill. A regular doctor’s office would have easily called in the prescription to another pharmacy. After contacting customer support multiple times over the past 24 hours, I’m still not able to get access to the prescription or have the pharmacy changed. Emails state their standard response time is 1 business day. 24 hours to resolve a pharmacy issue is unacceptable & defeats the purpose of emergency contraception. If you are going to take a chance on this service, make sure you check with the pharmacy in advance of placing your order. Otherwise you risk pregnancy while waiting on long support resolution times.”
It’s worth noting that each one-star review had a specific response from a Wisp team member that was thorough and made a genuine effort to rectify the situation, not just appease the customer.
Wisp isn’t covered by your insurance, so it may be more cost-effective for you to see a doctor in person. Depending on your insurance plan, some of the medications prescribed by Wisp’s doctors may be considerably lower (even covered at 100%) if you elect to use your insurance instead of self-pay.
Wisp claims to be extremely transparent in terms of cost, and they do offer language on their website that lets you know what to expect. However, you may pay more or less depending on how you’d like your medication delivered, and depending on whether or not you incur lab fees.
While Wisp offers medication at a discounted rate and also offers a prescription card to offset medication cost at your local pharmacy, you may pay a higher rate for medication than the price listed on their site if you choose to use your own pharmacy.
You’ll also incur additional costs if you have lab fees. STI testing and COVID testing, for example, require samples to be delivered and tested in a lab. The lab charges a fee that is separate from what you will pay for your medical consultation and any medications you are prescribed.
If Wisp’s team of medical professionals doesn’t feel you’re a good candidate for telehealth, or if they feel your current medical situation should be presented in-person to a doctor, they will refuse treatment.
Some users felt that the Wisp team was too quick to refer them to an in-person doctor, rendering the service they provide virtually useless.
One Trustpilot user, Rick, says:
“I have a UTI, but work overnights and wanted to find a faster, easier solution which allowed me to get my sleep, yet still cure my problem. The reviews were mostly good, the premise of discretion and quick care were perfect for my situation. So I decided to give it a try, lots of glowing reviews.
I was messaged by a “doctor” about an hour later (almost 9 hours at this point from when I made my order), saying that I need to go see a primary care physician…What is a doctor in person and a doctor online going to do different, I guess they have to be real first though?”
Wisp has some growing pains to sort out before we’ll recommend them for general care, however, for reproductive and sexual health care, they’re a great option, especially for people who’d like additional privacy and the convenience of professional medical care on their own time and terms.
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Bridget Reed is a Tampa-based content development manager, writer, and editor at GR0; specializing in content related to varying fields including medicine, health, and small businesses. Bridget went to St. Petersburg College and majored in Management and Organizational Leadership.
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