CareFree M.D. is a consumer program from the well established Coverdell & Company, being around since 1963. Coverdell offers a variety of consumer savings programs, serving over 6 millions folks across the United States, including the Carefree Dental, and Carefree Auto programs, saving consumers money.
Carefree M.D. provides an entry into the telemedicine space, giving access to physicians at all times they are needed.
Getting started and setup with Carefree M.D. is quite simple. It starts with activating the Carefree M.D. card, which is done with the first payment and after the account information gets entered. Next, Carefree M.D. creates an Electronic Health Record (EHR), as the patient enters information about their health profile. This background information is supplied, analogous to what would be done at a physician’s office when filling out the new patient paperwork to enable the treating physician to know essentials such as your existing medical problems, current medications, previous illnesses and any prior adverse reactions to medications.
From there, it is promised that everyone in the household then has access to their physician on an unlimited basis, at any time day or night. Appointments can be scheduled for a time in the future, and there are available night and weekend times for whatever is convenient to your schedule. These appointments get scheduled through your account by choosing a day and time. Realizing that not all medical care can be scheduled, and some health needs are more urgent, Carefree M.D. also has the option for an appointment right now, and it is stated that “You can be connected in under 30 minutes on average.”
When it is time for the call with the doctor, there are options as well. The first is to have the doctor visit over the phone, for a voice only interaction. The second option is to have a video consultation, where you can see each other for an experience closer to a traditional visit at a physician’s office or hospital clinic setting. This video telemedicine visit gets conducted through a range of devices, including smartphone, tablet, or computer, for whatever is most convenient for the patient. Keep in mind that some states, such as Delaware and Idaho, do not allow telephone physician visits, so in those locations, only video interactions are allowed.
Doctors chosen for the Carefree M.D. panel are claimed to be of the highest caliber. It starts that each is located in the US, and licensed to practice in the state that the patient is located in. Doctors are next credentialed, just like they would be at any healthcare facility, to make sure that they meet standards for the “Highest medical competency and communications skills.” This process follows the guidelines of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). In addition, each doctor gets specific training in the unique aspects of treating patients via Telehealth, an emerging area of medicine that is not part of the core curriculum of medical schools.
The Carefree M.D. doctors can treat a wide variety of conditions typical in a primary care practice. Examples provided include asthma, bronchitis, small wounds, and sports injuries. Visits are not time limited, so patients can take the time needed for the necessary care.
The user reviews are less than favorable to Carefree M.D. For example, on the Better Business Bureau site, all the reviews give this company only 1 star for their services. The reviews all focus on the recurring costs, as in some cases they did not recall signing up, and in another case, it was that even when they canceled, the charges still continued.
To balance this out though, BBB does assign the Carefree offerings an overall A+ rating, with the disclaimer that “Customer Reviews are not used in the calculation of BBB Rating,” and also some of the user reviews are for the Carefree Dental offering, and not specifically for Carefree M.D. Still, we find it concerning that these were the only reviews we could find for this popular service, from a company that has been around for over 50 years.
Support for Carefree M.D. is offered via two methods. The first is a toll free number, which is an excellent start, although our niggle is that the hours are limited to 8 am to 5 pm CST, and also only on weekdays Monday through Friday. The second method is via the online portal, as seen in the screenshot above. Here we take issue that the response is via phone without an option for a fully online exchange, that it appears to be limited to issues with only the access card, and finally the hours and days of response are again restricted to what is detailed above.
Carefree M.D. starts with the patient buying into their monthly subscription plan, at a cost of $17.95 (£14) each month. For a larger household, this is an even better deal as it covers everyone living there for this one payment.
We appreciate that the plan can be canceled within for a full refund of the costs with the Carefree M.D. “30-day, 100% money-back guarantee.” There is no contract, and the monthly charge can be discontinued at any time.
Carefree M.D. has a lot of the right ingredients, with an affordable pricing model, a mobile platform, and flexible appointment options. The extremely poor user reviews with a total lack of any positive reviews, along with no available specialist care including mental health services has us looking at other solutions though.