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What to know about the cost of Ozempic for weight loss

1 min Read

Ozempic has been effective in helping people lose weight, but it also has developed a reputation for its high cost. Here are some money-saving strategies if you are considering it for weight loss.

What you’ll learn:

  • Ozempic is effective for weight loss but it’s not usually covered by insurance solely for weight management. 
  • Ozempic is expensive without insurance coverage.
  • Alternative medications for weight loss may be more affordable or covered by your insurance.

Ozempic has given people who find weight loss challenging a new and effective tool. Originally designed to help manage type 2 diabetes, Ozempic has proven remarkably effective at helping people lose weight when prescribed off-label. But here’s the catch: Ozempic is only FDA-approved to treat diabetes, not weight management. This means that insurance companies usually won’t cover the cost of Ozempic when it’s prescribed for weight loss.

And it can be expensive. Without insurance or discount programs it can cost around $1,000 per month. 

Understanding the costs of Ozempic, navigating tricky discount programs, and even finding potential alternatives, can help you determine what’s best for you. If Ozempic is the right choice for you, there are ways to reduce the cost or find an alternative that works just as well. 

Noom can even do the hard work for you. If you qualify for Noom Med, we will help coordinate access to the weight loss medication that is right for you. Plus, we’ll provide support through our qualified clinicians. When you combine this with the comprehensive Noom program you’ll be on the right track to achieve your health goals and feel your best. 

How much does Ozempic cost per month?

Ozempic is taken as a once-weekly injection. The average retail (without insurance) price for a one-month supply of Ozempic is about $935. However, the true monthly cost of Ozempic depends on several factors, such as the state you live in, pharmacy, and insurance coverage. And, as mentioned, many insurance plans cover Ozempic for type 2 diabetes treatment but not necessarily for weight loss.

Thinking about the long-term costs of Ozempic is also really important. Most people will continue taking Ozempic for several months and, in some cases, indefinitely. You should coordinate with your doctor and discuss long-term goals before starting the medication.

What factors affect the cost of Ozempic?

The biggest thing that will affect how much Ozempic will cost is your insurance coverage. How much your insurance plan covers (if anything) will determine your out-of-pocket costs.  Always reach out to your insurance company for specific details. Here are some other things that can affect your overall cost:

  • Drug shortages can affect the price, especially as more people start using the medication. This can lead to some price fluctuations. 
  • The cost set by the manufacturer is also a big factor, which depends on things like research and development costs, how much people want the medication, and what the competition looks like. 
  • Plus, how much Ozempic you need and how often you need to take it can really add up—higher doses can increase your expenses. 

Is Ozempic for weight loss covered by insurance? What if it’s not?

The insurance coverage landscape for Ozempic can be complex, and policies differ among providers and plans. Some insurance companies will cover Ozempic for weight loss if it is considered medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor. However, others may only cover the medication for its FDA-approved use, which is the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

If your insurance does not cover Ozempic for weight loss, there are a few things you can do:

1. Appeal the decision: First, chat with your healthcare provider about gathering some solid evidence to support why Ozempic is necessary for your health. This might include records of your past weight loss attempts, any health conditions you have, and how the medication could potentially benefit you.

2. Check out discount or assistance programs: Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Ozempic, has a patient assistance program that could help you get the medication at a lower cost if you qualify. Additionally, some third-party websites and pharmacies provide coupons or discounts on Ozempic. Some pharmacies have discount search pages designed for this. For third-party websites, see if there is a section on their website dedicated to coupons or discounts. Just remember to verify the legitimacy of these offers.

3. Consider alternative medications: Discuss with your healthcare provider whether other weight loss medications covered by your insurance plan could work for you. Ozempic belongs to a class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1s for short). Some GLP-1s are approved for weight loss if you meet certain conditions. Other weight loss medications could work for you, too, that are covered by insurance, so it’s worth doing your own research.  

Alternatives to Ozempic

While Ozempic is well-known, it can be an expensive medication. Fortunately, several alternatives can also support weight management goals. These alternatives may be more affordable or have better insurance coverage depending on your plan and health goals. 

Some of these drugs are FDA-approved for weight loss. That means there is a better chance that your insurance company will cover it, but you will still need to check since coverage varies. Your doctor can help you evaluate the costs and benefits of each option to determine the best choice for your needs and budget.

Here are a few to consider:

MedicationHow it worksAverage monthly costPros and cons
WegovyGLP-1 receptor agonist
Same active ingredient as Ozempic (semaglutide) but it’s generally given at a higher dosage
Comparable to Ozempic, with an average weight loss of 15% of body weight
$1,300-1,400Pros: Reduces blood glucose levels and body weight; FDA-approved for weight loss so it might be more likely to be covered by insurance
Cons: High cost without insurance, increased risk of pancreatitis
Tirzepatides(Mounjaro, Zepbound)GLP-1 receptor agonist, similar to Ozempic, and also a  glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor
Significant short-term weight loss of up to 25% of body weight
$1,000-1,200Pros: Reduces blood glucose levels and body weight; Zepbound is FDA-approved for weight loss so it might be more likely to be covered by insurance
Cons: High cost, increased risk of pancreatitis; Mounjaro is not FDA-approved for weight loss
Liraglutide(Saxenda)GLP-1 receptor agonist, similar to Ozempic
Slightly less effective than Ozempic, with an average weight loss of 5-10% of body weight
Pros: Reduces blood glucose levels and body weight; FDA-approved for weight loss which might mean insurance will cover it
Cons: High cost, increased risk of pancreatitis
PhentermineSuppresses appetite by increasing neurotransmitter levels
Significant short-term weight loss, but long-term efficacy is limited
$20-$50Pros: Low cost, can increase energy levels and improve mood; FDA-approved for weight loss
Cons: Is a controlled substance, risk of addiction or dependence, reduced efficacy long-term due to tolerance
Orlistat (Xenical)Reduces fat absorption in the gut
Modest weight loss of around 5-10 pounds per year
$500-$700Pros: Can be obtained over the counter, prevents the absorption of fat from food; FDA-approved for weight loss
Cons: Weight loss is modest, must monitor for signs of liver damage

Leveraging Noom for cost-effective weight loss

With so many options, knowing what’s best for you can be hard. That’s where Noom Med shines.

The program includes: 

  • Personalized medical guidance: Noom Med connects you with licensed healthcare providers who specialize in weight management. They work with you to develop a tailored treatment plan that considers your individual needs, budget, and insurance coverage.
  • Psychological support: Noom provides evidence-based behavior change strategies and ongoing support from trained coaches. This holistic approach helps you develop sustainable habits and mindsets, maximizing the value of your investment in Ozempic and other weight loss tools. 
  • Educational resources & tools: Noom also gives you access to a wealth of resources, including educational articles, tracking tools, and a supportive community. This comprehensive ecosystem empowers you to make informed decisions about your health and finances.

If you have already been prescribed a weight-loss medication like Ozempic, you can use the GLP-Companion in coordination with Noom’s signature program. This tool will help monitor side effects, track your protein intake, and suggest exercises to help maintain health and strength while losing steady weight.

Want to learn more about whether Ozempic is the right choice for you? Check out our article on exploring Ozempic’s use for weight loss.

Note: Ozempic is not FDA-approved to treat obesity or for weight loss.