Does Your Insurance Cover Weight Loss Drugs?

Many U.S. companies are grappling with health insurance coverage issues for workers when it comes to GLP-1 drugs for weight loss. Despite the hefty price tag — typically between $1,000 to $1,500 a month — consumers are clamoring for drugs like Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound. This class of drugs, historically used to treat diabetes, has gained broader appeal, and while some employers are providing coverage, often with limitations, others are struggling to determine how to cover them without breaking the bank.

An October survey of 205 companies by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found 76% of respondents provided GLP-1 drug coverage for diabetes, versus only 27% that provided coverage for weight loss. But 13% of plan sponsors indicated they were considering coverage for weight loss.

“Right now, there’s still a lot of questions among employers,” said Julie Stich, vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. In addition to high costs, companies don’t have long-term data on effectiveness and potential side effects to support coverage, and some are just biding their time until more of this information exists. Still, many benefits experts say it’s a matter of when, not if, more employers will cover GLP-1 drugs.

Excerpted from CNBC

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