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Costco members now have access to $29 online healthcare visits

Telemedicine remains popular after pandemic
Telemedicine use exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and may continue to expand 04:42

By Parija Kavilanz, CNN

NEW YORK - Costco is now offering members online health checkups for as low as $29.

The retailer is offering the new service in partnership with Sesame, a direct-to-consumer healthcare marketplace that connects medical providers nationwide with consumers.

Sesame, in a release, said Costco members beginning Monday can book healthcare visits directly through their memberships in all 50 states.

The New York-based company said its platform doesn't accept health insurance because it primarily caters to uninsured Americans and those with high-deductible plans who prefer to pay cash for their health care. It said its model helps keep prices of services low for its users.

The services listed on Costco Pharmacy's homepage, include virtual primary care visits for $29, health checkups (a standard lab panel and a virtual follow-up consultation with a provider) for just $72 and online mental health visits for $79.

"Quality, great value, and low price are what the Costco brand is known for," David Goldhill, Sesame's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. "When it comes to health care, Sesame also delivers high quality and great value – and a low price that will be appreciated by Costco Members when it comes to their own care."

Costco is among several retailers who are directly providing healthcare to customers as the demand for urgent care access outside of a traditional hospital setting booms.

Amazon, in August, announced that its virtual clinic was now also available nationwide. Amazon Clinic launched last November offering 24/7 access to third-party health-care providers directly on Amazon's website and mobile app.

Amazon customers, through the clinic, can access telehealth treatment for dozens of common conditions, such as pink eye, urinary tract infections and hair loss, the retailer said.

Other retailers, including CVS to Walgreens to Walmart, have made similar moves.

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