Washingtonians Can Access Sexual and Reproductive Health Services Through Telehealth
Making a virtual or phone appointment with a provider is an easy way to get the health care you need. You can now receive safe and private sexual and reproductive health services without an in-office visit in Washington, from a provider within our program contracted network, where they are available.
Looking for a clinic that provides sexual and reproductive telehealth?
Information on this page:
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a way to get some health care services, often through video or audio calls on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, or patient portals. You can schedule an appointment to receive care from providers and clinics offering telehealth services. You can also ask your current health care provider about telehealth options. The services offered may vary by clinic or health care provider.
To set up a telehealth appointment:
- Find a clinic that offers telehealth.
- Contact the clinic for available services and set up an appointment.
- Confirm video or audio instructions with the clinic.
Benefits of telehealth appointments:
- Most telehealth appointments are online with an internet connection on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Some clinics even provide audio-only or phone call appointments (without internet).
- Clinics and providers do not record telehealth appointments, and receiving services through telehealth is private. To protect your health information during your appointment, make sure you are in a private and safe location. Learn more about connecting securely, privacy during your appointment, and how to safely share information online.
- Your existing health clinic or facility may offer telehealth services. You may be able to continue seeing your current doctor. You can visit their website or call them to find out.
- Better access to providers and no waiting rooms. You can be anywhere in Washington when logging in or calling for your appointment.
Your insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare may pay for telehealth.
- If you have Medicaid, Health Care Authority – Apple Health (Medicaid) covers medical care provided by telehealth when it is medically safe and appropriate.
- If you know your insurance information – you can call the contact number on your card and ask if telehealth services are covered. You can also provide your insurance information to the clinic when you schedule an appointment and confirm if telehealth services are covered.
- If you don’t know your insurance information – you can let the clinic know you aren’t sure about your insurance coverage. Clinic staff may be able to find out if your insurance covers telehealth.
- You might be eligible for free or low-cost services without insurance coverage. Clinic staff can help determine this when you make an appointment.
Ways Your Telehealth Appointment May Happen
- Video call or chat on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
- Audio-only call on your cell phone or landline. This may be the best option if you don’t have a stable or any internet connection.
- You can only make an audio-only appointment with providers or at clinics where you have had at least one in-person appointment within the last two years.
Sexual and Reproductive Services That May Be Available Via Telehealth
Types of available telehealth services vary by location. Contact the clinic where you are planning your appointment or check their website for options. Available services could include:
- Birth control refills.
- Contraceptive counseling. Learn more about available birth control options.
- Emergency contraception. Learn about emergency contraception.
- Pregnancy options counseling. Learn about pregnancy options.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) screening and treatment. You can learn more about STIs in this guide or ask the clinic when you schedule your appointment.
- Telehealth medication abortion. Bedsider.org has more information about this service and where it’s available at Pill vs. procedure: How to decide.
Note: Services like STI screening and treatment may require a follow-up in-person appointment at the clinic for additional services such as laboratory test or picking up a prescription.
Some clinics or providers may provide the following services to their existing patients:
- Gender-affirming care follow-up at a clinic where you previously received these services.
- Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis refills (PrEP) to help prevent HIV infection at a clinic where you previously received this service.
How Can I Keep My Medical Information Private?
In Washington, a state law gives you extra privacy protection for sensitive health care services, including sexual and reproductive health care.
Medicaid: Apple Health (Medicaid) sends any communication about sexual and reproductive health services to the email or physical address the person receiving the services gives to their health plan.
Other State Regulated Insurance: If you have an insurance plan on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange or the Washington Health Plan Finder system, to protect your privacy, you must request that any information about sensitive health care services you receive should be sent to you directly. To do this, you or clinic staff can print, complete, and send this Confidentiality Request Form (PDF) to your health insurance company. You can also call your insurance company to request confidentiality. (See the Office of the Insurance Commissioner webpage for more information.)
Private Insurance: If you have private insurance originating in Washington and are not the primary policyholder (you are insured through someone else, like a parent or spouse), you need to tell your health insurance company your communication preferences. You can contact them directly or submit the Confidentiality Request Form (wa.gov).
Make sure you talk to your health care provider about your privacy concerns.
Bedsider.org also offers information about maintaining privacy about your reproductive health care.
Which Clinics Offer Telehealth?
The Clinic Locations page lists the 37 clinics in the Washington State Sexual and Reproductive Health Network that provide telehealth appointments. Please use the Services dropdown to select ‘Telehealth’ and click the Search button. You can also use the map to find clinic information.
Looking for Abortion Services?
You can visit abortionfinder.org to search for abortion service providers and assistance resources.
Know Before You Schedule
You may need to register for a patient portal account before scheduling your telehealth appointment. You can contact the clinic staff for instructions to create your account.
What is a patient portal?
A patient portal is a secure and confidential (only you and your provider team can access) website. It gives you 24-hour access to your personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection. All patient portals have different features, and many allow you to:
- Schedule new appointments or log in to your scheduled telehealth appointments.
- Connect with your care team through a secure online message service.
- Conveniently request prescription refills.
- Review health education materials.
- Access your lab results.
- Pay bills online.
New to Telehealth?
Find tips and information on the basics of telehealth.
Use the DOH-created printable graphics with webpage QR codes.
Health care at your fingertips
Have More Questions?
Please contact our Sexual and Reproductive Health Program at SRHP@doh.wa.gov.