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Costco Is Now Offering Ozempic Through $179 Program—Do You Qualify?

The special plan is the result of the retailer's new partnership with a healthcare provider.

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No matter what your weight-loss journey looks like, the addition of Ozempic to the arsenal of options has undoubtedly changed the playing field for millions of people. The increasingly popular medication is actually approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but is often prescribed off-label to help people shed pounds and improve their health. And now, some Costco members can access Ozempic and other weight-loss medicines through a new program it's offering. Read on to see if you qualify for this new perk and how much it could cost you overall.

RELATED: Ozempic Isn't Working for Weight Loss in Some Patients—Here's How to Fix That.

Costco recently added a healthcare option for members.

A Costco warehouse entrance at night

Costco's reputation for carrying everything from guaranteed tires to affordable hot dog combos is part of why so many of its fans decide to pay for an annual membership. But last September, the warehouse retailer added yet another offering when it signed a deal with healthcare company Sesame.

The partnership launched by offering Costco members access to online visits with primary care doctors for $29 and mental health visits for $79, Bloomberg reported. It also provides access to other services with a 10 percent discount.

At launch, Sesame said it hoped to cater to customers without health insurance and those with high deductibles to help them access essential services for less. The company can keep costs down by negotiating prices with insurance companies and then charging patients directly instead of accepting insurance payments.

RELATED: Ex-Ozempic Patient Shares the Side Effect That Won't Go Away.

Costco shoppers can access a new weight-loss program using Sesame.

A close up of two Ozempic injectors on top of a product box
Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock

Months later, the partnership appears to be developing even further. On April 2, Sesame announced that it would be making a weight-loss program available to Costco customers through the platform, USA Today reported. The new offering is already active and includes potential access to weight-loss drugs, including Ozempic.

Executives say the decision came after it was found that one-fifth of all Sesame users at Costco were seeking help with weight loss.

"It wasn't what we initially thought would make sense to offer for Costco members who were coming to Sesame," Michael Botta, president and co-founder of Sesame, told CNN. "But we realized pretty quickly, just by looking at what people were curious about, that there was a clear unmet need here."

RELATED: What Is "Ozempic Face" and How Do You Treat It?

The $179 program connects customers with doctors who can decide if Ozempic or other drugs are appropriate.

woman having telehealth visit with doctor on ipad

According to the company's press release, Costco members who pay the $179 for the special program will receive three months of clinical consultation from a clinician they can choose from the platform. After an initial live video consultation where the provider will collect a detailed medical history from the patient, the patient will be given nutritional guidance and recommendations—including suggested diet and exercise changes.

Participants will also "be guided to an individualized, clinically-appropriate treatment program," including potential prescriptions for GLP-1 weight loss drugs such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Saxenda. As of publication on April 3, the company's website shows all three medicines are available, with just Wegovy marked as being in "limited supply."

While an individual consultation will determine whether a prescription is necessary, the company's website notes that the approach is usually appropriate for people with a BMI of 30 or higher or a BMI of 27  and higher with a weight-related health condition. People who are pregnant, have a heart condition, or have a family history of thyroid cancer may also not be fit for the injections.

For some people, the cost of the drugs could still end up being quite expensive.

man injecting Semaglutide Ozempic
myskin / Shutterstock

However, the $60-per-month subscription fee may just be the beginning for how much the program will wind up costing some customers. On its website, the company warns the drugs are not included in the cost—and that some may have to pay full price out of pocket for the injections.

"Sesame does not accept insurance in order to keep prices low and transparent, which means the cost of the weight program will not be covered by insurance," the website states.

It adds that the three drugs "can be expensive," with prices running from $950 to $1,600 a month. However, those who are insured may be able to get pre-insurance authorization from their provider to help cover the cost of the prescriptions.

Despite this, the company says it hopes the new program will help more people find effective solutions for obesity.

"Increasingly, there is more interest among the mass affluent, among the middle class, among almost everybody," Botta told CNN. "Obesity is prevalent across every socioeconomic status in America. There are a lot of people who have this interest and who have this need and we saw that in the data."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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