Starting the Body Program
💲Estimating Medication Costs
Whether you’re considering cash payment, going through insurance, or seeking out savings, we want you to understand all of your options when it comes to paying for your GLP-1 medication. (And we know this can be a potentially confusing or frustrating part of your journey!) That’s why we’ve answered some of the most common questions around estimating medication costs.
Remember: If you can’t find your answer here, please feel free to reach out to your Care Team in your Ro account chat.
Paying Cash for Medication
Cash pay is always an option if:
GLP-1 medication is not a covered benefit under your plan.
Prior authorization is denied, and there are no other options for coverage.
You're uninsured or do not want to go through insurance (and also do not have a government health plan).
You want medication quickly and are interested in compounded semaglutide (which is $450 per month and is not covered by insurance).
You’re willing to pay about $900–$1,500 a month for branded GLP-1s like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Saxenda.
Branded GLP-1 medications like Ozempic and Wegovy typically cost between $900–$1,500 per month of treatment when not covered by insurance. Drug manufacturers may provide savings cards to help reduce costs. Each pharmacy may apply these savings cards differently, so your final costs can vary depending on where the medication is ultimately filled.
Ro also offers access to compounded semaglutide, a cheaper cash pay option that costs $450 per month of treatment. It contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic and Wegovy, and is in stock now. Compounded drugs are permitted to be prescribed under federal law, but are not FDA-approved. If prescribed, you can get the compounded drug offered through Ro shipped to your home within 3 weeks.
Insurance Coverage for Branded GLP-1s & Out-of-Pocket Costs
Out-of-pocket costs from copays or cost sharing can range substantially. These costs depend on your insurance coverage and fulfilling pharmacy. Your insurance company may share out-of-pocket cost estimations with us (but this only sometimes happens). If they do, we'll share it with you.
Insurance companies don't always share estimates with us. But if we get an out-of-pocket estimate, we’ll share it with you. If not, you can reach out to your insurer directly.
Remember, any number we share with you is an estimate and may differ from the final cost you’ll receive at the pharmacy that fills your prescription.
Your insurance company may share a dose’s estimated out-of-pocket cost with us. This estimate is based on your insurance plan and how much is left until you reach your deductible (the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in). When you reach your deductible, your medication's monthly cost will decrease to your fixed co-pay or cost sharing amount. Keep in mind that plans vary and some plans won’t have deductibles, copays, or coinsurance.
Any out-of-pocket estimates we’re able to share are only for a month’s worth of medication. They may be high if you haven't hit your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum responsibility. If you hit those, the monthly cost of your medication will go down.
Using your insurance information and plan details, you may be able to estimate the monthly cost for yourself. (But keep in mind that plans vary and some plans won’t have deductibles, copays or coinsurance. This calculation may not apply to your individual plan depending on your plan details.)
To do the calculation, you’ll need your:
Deductible (how much you pay until your insurance kicks in and starts to pay)
Amount you’ve already paid toward your deductible
Your fixed co-pay or coinsurance (may apply even if your deductible is hit)
You’ll likely pay the out-of-pocket estimate until your deductible is met. Then, you’ll start to pay the co-pay or coinsurance amount until you hit your out-of-pocket maximum.
Here’s an example using hypothetical numbers:
GLP-1 out-of-pocket estimate: $900
Amount paid toward deductible: $0
Out-of-pocket maximum: $10,000
Given the information above, the monthly medication costs may look like this:
Month 1: $900
Month 2: $900
Month 3: $200 (deductible met)
Month 4: $50 (co-pay kicks in)
Month 5: $50
Month 6+: $50 (until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum)
Cost information you receive from your fulfilling pharmacy can differ from your insurer’s estimate. We know this may be frustrating and confusing, so here are a couple of questions you can ask the pharmacy for clarity:
Does this cost include my insurance coverage?
Does this cost include any eligible savings card discount?
Offsetting Medication Costs
You may be able to use your HSA or FSA to pay for your branded GLP-1s like Ozempic and Wegovy. Inquire with the pharmacy that’s filling your prescription to learn more.
You also may be able to use your HSA or FSA to pay for compounded semaglutide. Reach out to your insurer for more information on limitations and requirements.
Novo Nordisk, the drug manufacturer of Ozempic and Wegovy, offers savings cards that can help offset the price of the medication. Review the information in the link carefully to see if you're eligible for savings.
In the case of Wegovy, you can use the savings card when you pay out of pocket and for insurance-approved prescriptions. When using the savings card, eligible patients can save up to $225/month on Wegovy.
In the case of Ozempic, you cannot use the savings card when you pay out of pocket — only for insurance-approved prescriptions. Eligible patients can save up to $150/month on Ozempic when using the savings card.
Savings cards are not guaranteed and may vary by pharmacy. When coordinating payment for your medication, let the pharmacist know that you'll be using a savings card. Pharmacists usually require that you provide certain information detailed on the card.
Because compounded semaglutide is not made by the manufacturer of branded semaglutide, there are no savings cards available.