Sam’s Club has partnered with Seattle-based health startup 98point6 to launch a new telehealth service. According to yesterday’s press release, the service offers 24/7 access to both live doctors and a virtual primary care physician—without an appointment—through an AI-powered, text message-based app.
Sam’s Club members can buy a 3-month 98point6 subscription for $20 per person, plus a $1 per-visit fee. That is cheaper than the company’s normal 3-month introductory fee of $30, plus that $1 visit fee. After that period has elapsed, you can sign-up for 98point6 for $33.50 per quarter—$134 per year—or $120 paid annually (again, not including that $1 fee for each individual visit).
You can actually sign up for the service directly at the same $120 annual rate. If you prefer to pay quarterly, you’ll have to go through Sam’s Club—and you’ll end up paying a bit more for the privilege ($14 total if you renew your membership each quarter for a full year).
What the monthly subscription includes
98point6 offers 24/7 unlimited access to licensed physicians and other healthcare providers through the company’s website and mobile app for $1 per visit. The service is available in all 50 states.
These physicians may offer on-demand diagnoses and treatment for more than 400 conditions like cold and cough, flu-like symptoms, seasonal allergies, or a rash. The providers may also provide care and monitoring for chronic conditions like anxiety, asthma, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.
The fine print
You must be a Club ($45 per year) or a Plus ($100 per year) Sam’s Club member to access the $20 introductory offer. Via the app, members can also “access pediatric care for additional subscribed family members” over the age of 1, according to the press release.
It’s important to know 98point6 isn’t health insurance or a substitute for health insurance. 98point6 doesn’t handle emergencies or life-threatening conditions.
You are responsible for paying all out-of-app costs, including prescriptions, labs, and any in-person visits. 98point6 won’t work in conjunction with your existing health insurance, but if your insurance doesn’t cover telehealth, you can still use it to cover any out-of-app costs you might incur with 98point6.
98point6 may be an affordable addition to your health insurance plan, particularly if you’re already a Sam’s Club member. It could particularly offer value if you have a high-deductible health plan and tend to go to urgent care for non-emergency visits. It may be cheaper to spend $120 per year for the occasional rash or allergy prescription, rather than paying hundreds for quick in-person visits.