1. Health Hub
  2. How Much Does Ozempic Cost Without Insurance?
How Much Does Ozempic Cost Without Insurance?
March 6, 2024|Read Time - 5 minutes
Written by
Last updated on April 9, 2024

Breaking down the cost of Ozempic + tips to save money on your prescription

Ozempic (semaglutide) is becoming one of the most sought-after prescription medications on the market. Prescriptions for this weight loss drug have surged by 300% in the last three years. More than 9 million people currently use it for type 2 diabetes or weight loss.

Ozempic is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, when used along with a healthy diet and exercise, it has been shown to be very effective in helping patients with overweight or obesity lose weight and keep it off. Because of this, healthcare providers have been prescribing Ozempic “off-label” to help with weight management.

There’s no denying Ozempic is highly effective as a treatment for type 2 diabetes and obesity. But because of its limited availability, it is also very expensive. It can be even more so if you are uninsured.

How much does Ozempic cost without insurance?


Novo Nordisk (the manufacturer of Ozempic) lists Ozempic at $935.77 per month. This list price reflects the cost of Ozempic without health insurance.

Ozempic is an injectable medication. Patients use prefilled injection pens once weekly to manage blood glucose (blood sugar) and obesity. Ozempic prices show how much each weekly injection pen costs. Note that Ozempic pens are only available under their brand name. No generic version of Ozempic is available for purchase.

Why is Ozempic so expensive?


Ozempic is so expensive because Novo Nordisk still owns the patent on it. This basically means that they have a monopoly on this product. Ozempic’s patent isn’t set to expire until 2031. A generic version of Ozempic won’t be available until then. Generic versions of drugs are cheaper than brand names so don’t expect a lower-cost version of Ozempic until nearly a decade from now.

How can I save money on Ozempic?


By now, you’re probably thinking, “$953.77 per month?!? I’ll never be able to afford Ozempic!” Don’t worry. You can cut down on the out-of-pocket cost of Ozempic in several ways.

1) Get a prescription from a telehealth service.

Telehealth services are often far more affordable than in-person care. More affordable provider visits can make the out-of-pocket price of Ozempic less of a barrier. Plus, you can use these appointments to discuss ways to make the price of Ozempic more affordable.

You need to speak to a licensed healthcare professional before you can get Ozempic. In-person doctor visits can be very expensive, especially if you are uninsured or have a high-deductible insurance plan.

Many insurance providers require prior authorization from a healthcare provider before they will cover a portion of your Ozempic prescription. During your visit, your provider can assist you with pre-authorization paperwork to help you get insurance coverage for your medication. Most plans will not cover the use of Ozempic for weight loss.

2) Enroll in the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program (PAP)

Novo Nordisk has a savings program that provides financial assistance to patients who have been prescribed Ozempic. Note that this savings program is for patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You may be found ineligible for savings if you are using Ozempic only for weight loss. Fill out an application for this program here.

To qualify for the patient assistance program, you must:

  • Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States
  • Have a total household income that is no more than 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL). NeedyMeds has a helpful chart detailing current FPL guidelines
  • Not be enrolled in Medicare or any other insurance plan with an insurance company
  • Not be enrolled in any other federal or state programs like Medicaid, Low Income Subsidy, or Veterans Affairs benefits

If you meet these eligibility requirements, fill out an application to see if you can cut costs for Ozempic. If you are approved, you can get free medicine from Novo Nordisk.

3) Apply for an Ozempic savings card

If you have insurance, Novo Nordisk offers a discount card for a 1, 2, and 3-month supply of Ozempic. This discount card is reserved for patients with type 2 diabetes. It's important to note that Ozempic is currently FDA-approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, not weight loss. Therefore, only those who have been prescribed Ozempic for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes are eligible for the savings card.

You must have prior authorization from a healthcare provider to be eligible for an Ozempic savings card. If you’ve already been prescribed Ozempic, fill out an online application to see if you are eligible. With a Novo Nordisk savings card, you can pay as little as $25 per month, with a maximum savings of up to $150 per month.

4) Look for prescription discount programs

Sites like Optum Perks and SingleCare offer savings programs that you can redeem to lower the cost of prescription drugs. They call these programs “coupons”, but they are more like savings cards that require membership to use.

In addition, some pharmacies let you order a 90-day supply of Ozempic at a lower cost than what you’d pay with a one or two-month supply. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if you can purchase a 90-day supply of Ozempic. You should also ask your insurance provider about how much of your prescription they will cover.

Does insurance cover Ozempic?


It depends. Health insurance plans vary. Some patients may be able to get their Ozempic prescription fully paid for through their insurance. Other plans might require you with copays or deductibles.

It also depends on why you are being prescribed Ozempic. Many plans won’t cover the cost of Ozempic if it is being used for weight loss alone. Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, for example, will cover Ozempic if it is being used for type 2 diabetes. They may not cover the prescription if it is being prescribed for weight loss.

Talk to your insurance company before purchasing Ozempic to discuss how much of your prescription will be covered by your plan. You may be able to appeal to your insurance provider that Ozempic is medically necessary for your wellness, making it more likely to get some sort of coverage. No guarantees, though.

You should also review your insurance plan’s benefits. Benefits may provide coverage for non-essential appointments, prescription medications, and more. Get to know your insurance benefits to ensure you are getting the most out of your plan.

Are there alternatives to Ozempic?


If the cost of Ozempic is a barrier to you getting treatment, you can discuss alternatives with your healthcare provider.

GLP-1 drugs

Providers may prescribe another glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist to help you lose weight. Most GLP-1 drugs are only available under their brand names and are about as expensive as Ozempic. For instance, Trulicity (dulaglutide) costs about $977 per month. Saxenda (liraglutide) is listed at $1,349.02 per month.

GLP-1 alternatives to Ozempic include:

Discuss your health history and any medications or supplements you are taking before starting treatment with any GLP-1 drug. GLP-1 drugs come with the risk of potentially severe side effects. Informing your healthcare provider about any conditions you are managing and other drugs you are using before starting treatment can reduce your risk of harmful reactions.

You can also ask your provider about Wegovy and Rybelsus. These drugs also contain semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, and are both made by Novo Nordisk. Wegovy is specifically FDA-approved for weight loss. These drugs are also expensive, though.

GLP-1 alternatives

While there is no generic form of Ozempic or most other GLP-1 drugs, non-GLP-1 alternatives to Ozempic may have a generic version. Generic drugs are significantly cheaper than brand-name drugs. For instance, metformin (a common alternative to GLP-1 medication) only costs about $11 for a one-month supply. Contrave, only available under its brand name, costs $99 per month.

Alternatives to GLP-1 medication include:

Talk to your provider about GLP-1 alternatives to see if they may be right for you. Tell them about any conditions that you have and any other medications you are taking to reduce your risk of harmful side effects.

Next steps


Yes, Ozempic is expensive. But there are ways to cut your costs. Use the tips above to get the best price for an Ozempic prescription. If you want more information or are looking to get started on your weight loss journey, check out Sesame’s online weight loss program to get medical advice and a personal treatment plan to help you meet your weight loss goals. Providers can prescribe a GLP-1 medication if appropriate. The decision to prescribe medication, and the type of weight loss medicaiton you are prescribed are at the discretion of your healthcare provider.


Sources:

Related articles

See all
Comparing the effectiveness of popular semaglutide medications Ozempic and Wegovy for diabetes and weight loss. Learn about cost, eligibility and more.

Wegovy vs Ozempic: Which Works Better?

Comparing the effectiveness of popular semaglutide medicatio ...

Leah RosenfieldDecember 20, 2023
Read in 4 minutes

“Ozempic face” is a well-known side effect of weight loss drug use. Learn more about how weight loss affects the face, prevention, and treatment options

Ozempic Face: What It Is and How to Treat It

“Ozempic face” is a well-known side effect of weight loss dr ...

Eric WeimanFebruary 2, 2024
Read in 5 minutes

“Common Sense” Solutions Won’t Fix Our Drug Prices. We Need A Different Approach.

David Goldhill, founder and CEO of SesameJanuary 29, 2024
Read in 3 minutes

Generic & Brand Name Drug Cost Comparison

How to Save Money on Prescriptions

Generic & Brand Name Drug Cost Comparison

Eric WeimanMay 24, 2023
Read in 5 minutes

Medical disclaimer

Sesame content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern, it is critical to seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions. If you are facing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room immediately.

Editorial policy


Sesame's Editorial Team is committed to delivering useful, relevant and reliable health information to our readers. Our editorial policy ensures that all content is thoroughly researched and medically reviewed to maintain high standards of accuracy and integrity. For more details on our commitment and practices, please visit our Editorial Process and Review Standards Policy page.