Zepbound cost with and without insurance

Yael Cooperman, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Amelia Willson 

Yael Cooperman, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Amelia Willson 

LAST UPDATED: Jan 09, 2023

5 MIN READ

Key takeaways

  • Zepbound’s list price is $1,059.87 for a one-month supply, but insurance and discount cards can help bring the cost down.

  • Whether your insurance covers Zepbound will depend on your plan’s prescription drug coverage.

  • A Zepbound savings card can bring the cost of Zepbound down to as low as $25 for a one- or three-month prescription.

When combined with diet and exercise, Zepbound (tirzepatide) is a once-weekly injectable prescription medication that helps people lose weight. The medication was developed by Eli Lilly and approved for weight management by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late 2023. 

At a list price of $1,059.87 for a one-month supply, Zepbound is not exactly affordable for many people. But, there are ways to save on the medication.

Zepbound Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

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How much does Zepbound cost?

The list price for Zepbound is $1,059.87 for one package of the medication, which comes out to $264.97 per week or $13,778.44 per year. Each package of Zepbound contains four prescription pens, each pre-filled with a single dose of the medication. Ultimately, however, the amount you’ll pay for Zepbound will depend on your insurance coverage (if you have any) and the pharmacy you use. 

You can price-shop different pharmacies in your area using sites like GoodRx, which can help you save 10%–17% off the cost of Zepbound. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Zepbound, also offers a Zepbound Savings Card, which can bring the cost down to $25–$550 for a one-month supply of Zepbound, depending on your insurance. 

Does insurance cover Zepbound?

Whether your insurance plan covers Zepbound will depend on your plan’s prescription drug coverage and the pharmacy you use to fill your prescription. To find out if your insurance plan covers Zepbound, contact your insurance provider. The phone number should be listed on the back of your insurance card. You can also visit your insurance company’s website or review your plan’s drug formulary (a list of all the drugs covered under your plan). 

If your insurance does not include coverage for Zepbound, your healthcare provider can submit an appeal letter to your plan requesting that they grant you coverage. Be aware, however, that these appeals are not always successful. 

Is Zepbound covered by Medicare?

In general, Medicare does not cover weight loss drugs or medications prescribed to treat obesity and overweight. In some cases, certain Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage. Contact Medicare to see if Zepbound is covered by your plan.

Is Zepbound covered by Medicaid?

Medicaid coverage for Zepbound, as well as other drugs, can vary by state. Visit the Medicaid site for your state to check if your Medicaid plan offers coverage for Zepbound. If it doesn’t, your healthcare provider can submit an appeal on your behalf.

Is Zepbound covered by VA Benefits or TRICARE?

It is possible that Veterans Affairs may provide coverage for Zepbound through its MOVE! Program. Contact your VA provider or local MOVE! Coordinator to learn more.

TRICARE may also provide coverage for Zepbound. Your healthcare provider will need to request a coverage review on your behalf.  

Zepbound vs. Mounjaro cost

The list price for Mounjaro is $1,069.08 for a one-month supply, which is slightly less than the cost of Zepbound. Not only does Mounjaro cost slightly less than Zepbound, but since Mounjaro is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and contains the same active ingredient as Zepbound in the same dosages, if you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to get Mounjaro covered your insurance, which can make it even more affordable. 

Eli Lilly is the manufacturer of both Zepbound and Mounjaro. As with Zepbound, Eli Lilly also offers a savings program for Mounjaro, which can further bring down the cost of the drug if you have insurance. 

How to get Zepbound

You need a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider to get Zepbound. Zepbound is typically prescribed in combination with diet and exercise to help with weight management in people who have either

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (defined as obesity) or

  • A BMI of 27 or higher (defined as overweight), in addition to at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, or heart disease

You can get a prescription for Zepbound from your primary care provider, a specialist in obesity medicine, or through the Ro Body Program, a comprehensive program that includes:

  • Your weight loss medication (including Zepbound, if that’s the most appropriate medication for you)

  • Metabolic testing included 

  • A personalized treatment plan

  • 1:1 health coaching

  • A step-by-step curriculum

  • Ongoing support from your provider

  • Insurance concierge services to help you get coverage for Zepbound

How to get a Zepbound coupon

If you have commercial drug insurance, whether through your employer or purchased independently, you may be eligible for the Zepbound Savings Card — even if your plan does not provide coverage specifically for Zepbound. For people whose plan includes coverage for Zepbound, this Zepbound coupon can bring the cost of Zepbound down to as low as $25 for a one- or three-month prescription. For those whose plan does not include coverage, the coupon can bring the cost down to as low as $550 for a one-month supply of Zepbound.

To be eligible for the Zepbound coupon offered by Eli Lilly, you must:

  • Have a prescription for Zepbound

  • Be enrolled in a commercial drug insurance plan

  • Not have insurance coverage through any state, federal, or government-funded program, such as Medicare, Medicard, VA, or TRICARE

  • Be a resident of the U.S. or Puerto Rico

  • Be at least 18 years old

How does Zepbound work?

In clinical trials, people taking Zepbound (in addition to diet and exercise) lost an average of 15%–21% of their body weight within a year and a half, depending on their dosage. In more concrete terms, this amounted to an average of 35–52 pounds lost compared with their weight before they started the study. The participants taking a placebo, on the other hand, lost just around 5 pounds with diet and exercise alone. 

Zepbound is what’s known as a GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist, a designation it shares with Mounjaro. Unlike similar medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Saxenda, Zepbound and Mounjaro are unique in that their active ingredient — tirzepatide — targets two receptors involved in appetite regulation and metabolism. These are the receptors for glucagon-like peptide 1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, hence the GLP-1 and GIP. Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, on the other hand, solely target the GLP-1 receptor. This dual-receptor ability may be what makes tirzepatide, marketed under Zepbound and Mounjaro, so effective for weight loss.

So, how does Zepbound help you lose weight, exactly? Tirzepatide acts upon the GLP-1 and GIP receptors to accomplish a few different things, including:

  • Slowing down digestion so food stays in your stomach longer, and you feel full sooner

  • Sending satiety (fullness) signals to tell your brain that you are full

  • Influencing your brain’s reward center around food, reducing your cravings for certain foods

Zepbound is injected on a weekly basis, subcutaneously (under the skin) of your belly, thigh, or upper arm. It is available in six dosage strengths, ranging from a starting dose of 2.5 milligrams (mg) to a maximum dose of 15 mg. Typically, your healthcare provider will prescribe a lower starting dose before slowly ramping up the dosage over a period of weeks, in order to reduce side effects, which may include: 

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain

  • Upset stomach or indigestion

  • Injection site reactions (e.g. rash)

  • Fatigue

  • Belching

  • Hair loss

  • Acid reflux

Zepbound is safe and effective for many people, but it is not right for everybody, including people who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those with a personal or family history of certain thyroid cancers. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether Zepbound is a good fit for you.

Mounjaro Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Ozempic Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Wegovy Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Saxenda Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

DISCLAIMER

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

January 09, 2023

Written by

Amelia Willson

Fact checked by

Yael Cooperman, MD


About the medical reviewer

Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.

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