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Ahead Review – Does it Work for ADHD Treatment?

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Medically reviewed by: Dr. Steve Kim, M.D.

UPDATE: Ahead has gone out of business and ceased operations as of 4/15/22. See the announcement on their website.

Ahead ADHD Alternatives

Since Ahead ADHD announced that they were shutting down on April 15th, 2022, many patients are likely looking for legitimate alternatives. The best alternative to Ahead for most patients is likely to be Cerebral. This is the ADHD provider that Simone Biles has been representing. We like introductory offer of $30 for the first month, and the $85 a month prescription fee and video/phone sessions with a care counselor are comparable to Ahead. 

In this article, we’ll review Ahead’s ADHD telemedicine offering — a modern service that’s helping millions of Americans diagnose and treat Attention Deficit Disorder with virtual access to doctors and prescription medicine.

 

Perhaps you already know or suspect that you have ADHD, or you recognize the signs – difficulty focusing, limited attention span, hyperactivity, mood swings, and so on – and you’d like a professional diagnosis once and for all.

 

You’re also undoubtedly aware that there are numerous effective medications available to assist you in controlling your symptoms. Prescription medicine for ADHD is prevalent, but many people find comfort through non-medication and non-stimulant alternatives as well.

 

A modern convenience is that we can now take care of many of our healthcare issues online through telemedicine firms that provide direct-to-consumer treatment. Ahead is one of these telemedicine platform companies and the de facto leader in online ADHD treatment. Let’s look at what it’s all about and whether it’s good for you. What exactly is Hello Ahead?

 

What is Hello Ahead?

Since we’re talking about your mental health, it’s important to know if Hello Ahead is legit! Long story short: yes, Ahead is a legitimate telemedicine provider that’s licensed to prescribe medication for mental health. The company is venture-backed and offers virtual diagnosis and care, mostly for for ADHD, but they also help patients with depression and anxiety as well. 

 

What does Ahead offer for ADHD? 

 

Ahead’s treatment strategy includes both pharmaceutical and non-prescription options, as well as ongoing doctor involvement to assist you in finding the best care for your mental health. The company understands that prescription meds work for millions, but not everyone, so you can choose one or the other or combine medication and non-medication at the correct dose for you.

 

Ultimately, one of Ahead’s licensed physicians will conduct a psychiatric assessment to determine whether prescription meds are appropriate. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for ADHD treatment, unfortunately, but Ahead works with you to design a personalized plan around your individual needs and goals.

 

We’ll cover what prescription meds they typically prescribe in a sec, but know that Ahead’s over the counter options are identical for patients with ADHD and anxiety / depression. These include tailored counseling, psychotherapy, lifestyle coaching and naturopathics. 

 

  • Tailored counseling could include brief or longer counseling depending on your needs.
  • Psychotherapy provides a formal type of therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy. 
  • Lifestyle coaching teaches techniques you can add to or change about your everyday lifestyle. 
  • Naturopathics would depend on your situation and could include natural treatment like herbs or vitamins. However, Ahead only has naturopathic providers in San Diego at the moment.

What prescription meds does Ahead prescribe for ADHD? 

 

For ADHD, Ahead’s medication option is the standard treatment in the U.S. They often prescribe stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse or Mydayis. Stimulants are commonly used as a first-line treatment for ADHD because, well, they work for the majority of people.  FYI, Ahead states that Vyvanse and Mydayis are more expensive options if you’re not using insurance. 

 

Side note: Perhaps you’re seeking anxiety or depression treatment from Ahead, rather than ADHD treatment? They typically prescribe SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) such as Lexapro for depression. If it doesn’t work for you, they may recommend SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) like Cymbalta instead.

 

They could also prescribe SSRIs or SNRIs for long-term treatment for anxiety. Benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, may also be used to treat short-term anxiety attacks. Your provider would tell you precisely what kind of medication they believe would be best for you.

 

How to get started with Ahead

Ahead makes it convenient to get ADHD diagnosis and care from home. Here’s how their process works:

 

  1. Submit an intake form of 20 questions to provide your medical history and current situation. 
  2. Schedule an appointment and pay a fee to hold it that will come out of your first visit cost. 
  3. Visit with a doctor virtually. It’s a 60 to 75 minute in-depth discussion with a board-certified mental health provider.
  4. Diagnosis: Your provider will diagnose any condition(s) and create an individualized treatment plan, which could include medication and/or non-medication options.
  5. Medication delivery: If it fits your situation, the medication will be shipped to you and delivered just days after your first visit. 
  6. Ongoing Care: You have access to ongoing medication management visits and therapy visits according to your needs. Ahead puts refills on autopilot so you don’t have to worry about running out again.

Does Ahead offer in-person care?

Yes, Ahead offers in-person clinician diagnosis and care from their network of physical locations. During the pandemic all visits were done virtually, but as soon as it’s safe to reopen, Ahead will also offer in-person visits in the following cities:

 

    • Albuquerque
    • Boston
    • Charleston
    • Chicago
    • Denver
    • Jacksonville
    • Los Angeles
    • Miami
    • Nashville
    • New York City
    • Philadelphia
    • Phoenix
    • Portland
    • San Diego
    • San Francisco 
    • Seattle

 

How much does Ahead cost?

 

Ahead now offers two options for care — one that offers access to psychiatric specialists for a la carte care, and another that offers ongoing access to a primary care physician for a low monthly fee:

 

Below we detail Ahead’s pricing, comparing their two plan options head to head — psychiatric care vs ongoing primary care: 

 

 

Ahead ADHD Treatment Plans

Psychiatric Specialist Plan (a la carte care)Primary Care plan (ongoing membership)
Cost of first month / visit$225$150
Medication costCost of co-pay on your health insurance plan or the retail price of the drug without insurance (generally $40-$80+ per month)Cost of co-pay on your health insurance plan or the retail price of the drug without insurance ($40-$80+ per month)
Subsequent follow up visit cost

Medication management visits (as needed to renew or adjust your prescription): $160 

Medication management visits + therapy: $275

$75 / month membership fee includes:
– follow up visit with primary care doctor every 1-3 months
– unlimited messaging to their care team
– prescription delivery
Accepts Insurance?Most insurance accepted for medication (you pay co-pay) and visits as out-of-network providerMost insurance accepted for medication (you pay co-pay) and visits as out-of-network provider
WebsiteGet startedGet started

 

Ahead ADHD Reviews: What are customers saying? 

So, do real-world customers like Ahead for their treatments? In case you need a second opinion, we’ve prepared a list of reviews that express the sentiments of some of Ahead’s customers. Read on to get a general feel of their views.

 

Source: Facebook

 

Source: Reddit

 

Source: Reddit

 

Source: Reddit

 

Source: Reddit

 

Source: Reddit

 

To summarize, the bulk of Ahead’s patients seem very pleased with their services. The only recurring complaint is their price point, which, considering the comprehensiveness of their platform, how convenient it is, and the high cost of traditional psychiatrists, Ahead’s treatment plans are a great value. It may not seem affordable to all, but it’s difficult to put a price on mental health. At the end of the day, what could be more important to invest in?

 

The Verdict: Is Ahead legit for ADHD treatment? 

After taking a deeper look at Ahead, it’s easy to see how easy it makes accessing quality ADHD treatment. You don’t have to go for in-person visits to your doctor or a psychiatrist (unless you want to!) to get the medication or other treatments you need. You just do virtual visits, and get any recommended medication sent to your door. Even the therapy / counseling sessions are all done virtually.

 

It’s a one-stop shop for all you need to know about and treat your ADHD. You don’t have to go to two different sites if you’re looking for prescription and non-medication ADHD therapies. Both can be found with Ahead.

 

Is there a downside? Of course, it has to be available in your area. Ahead’s service is currently only available in a limited number of states, so there’s a good chunk of the U.S. population that can’t access care from the platform just yet. 

 

One other thing to note: Ahead may not be the best solution for those suffering extreme cases of ADHD or depression. It’s an incredible service for those with relatively straightforward cases, but those with worse symptoms may need in-person care, which Ahead doesn’t provide in all areas (yet). That said, for the vast majority of patients, Ahead offers more than enough high-quality treatment options. 

 

So, is it worth the cost? Ahead’s cost of care might seem high, and admittedly, it’s not a small expense for the average person. But if we break down the price and compare it to alternatives,  it’s actually a lot more reasonable than it might seem at first glance. The cost of in-person ADHD visits and treatment can vary by your area, but is generally more expensive to see a local specialist than via Ahead’s telehealth service. In general, Ahead allows you to save on the cost of visits, tests, therapy and more – not to mention savings of the most precious resource of all: your time.

 

Ahead’s convenience factor should not be underestimated, especially for those who have struggled to find quality care in the past. Prescription meds generally cost the same  — FYI — because you’re paying your pharmacy price or insurance copays whether you go in person or get everything shipped to your door via Ahead.  

 

Final Review of Ahead for ADHD

To sum things up, Ahead is a very legit telemedicine company offering high quality ADHD care. They’ve been around since 2017 and raised millions of dollars from top VCs. They offer access to board-certified doctors for convenient virtual visits and quality ADHD meds. Their docs can also help with other mental health issues like anxiety and depression, too. 

 

Ahead is competitively priced compared to paying out of pocket for in-person visits, and they can help you find out if you have ADHD in the first place if you haven’t yet been diagnosed or are looking for new treatments. They continue to build out physical clinics for in-person psychiatric care as well to help serve a broader set of patients for whom telehealth isn’t enough. OWe appreciate their commitment to improving access to quality mental health care, and overall, we believe they are the best provider of ADHD treatment in the US, with thousands of happy customers who can vouch.

 

Try Ahead today, and let us know about your experience in the comments below! 

 

Again, we were sorry to hear that Ahead is ceasing operations and suggest that patients try Cerebral as an alternative. 

 

Ahead FAQ

Here’s a quick overview of how Ahead works:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety and Depression

ADHD: Stimulants like Adderall

Depression / Anxiety: SSRIs, SNRIs, benzodiazepines or others

Ahead also offers tailored counseling psychotherapy, naturopathic products, and lifestyle coaching

Online appointments and shipped medication

For the medication, yes as an out-of-network provider for visits

Ahead is licensed to provide virtual telehealth consultation in the following states: 

  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • FL
  • IL
  • KY
  • MD
  • MA
  • MI
  • NM
  • NY
  • OR
  • PA
  • SC
  • TN
  • WA

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