How to get Wegovy for free – or at least less

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Wegovy (semaglutide) is an FDA-approved prescription drug for weight loss. And it works! In 2023, prescriptions for semaglutide went up almost 40-fold, with nearly 1.7% of the U.S. population using it. But, at an average cost of $1,300 to $ 1,400 a month, many wonder how to get Wegovy for free or, at least, at a lower price. 

In this post, we share ways to get Wegovy at a price you can afford and potential alternatives if you can’t.

What’s the price of Wegovy?

The list price of Wegovy for a package, or one-month supply, is $1,349.02, which comes to $337.3 per week and $16,188.20 per year. List price is what the manufacturer charges pharmacies. 

Your actual cost will vary based on different factors, including pharmacy markup, insurance coverage, where you buy Wegovy, discounts or coupons, and savings programs. Drugs.com lists the average consumer cost at $1,425.51 per month.

With insurance, your out-of-pocket cost for Wegovy depends on your specific insurance plan, copay, and deductibles. Your price can range from $0 a month if your insurer covers the total cost of Wegovy, for example, if you’ve met your deductible or out-of-pocket limit. You may pay higher amounts (but not full price) depending on your drug copay and/or if you haven’t met your out-of-pocket costs or deductible. Some insurance plans pay less toward or don’t cover brand-name medications. 

For details on your insurance coverage, call your insurance provider’s customer service numbers or see your coverage documentation.

Note that there’s no generic equivalent for Wegovy. So, you may pay a higher drug copay. But, even without insurance, you can pay less. We cover how below.

How to get Wegovy for free or less?

To get Wegovy, you need a prescription. Once you have a prescription, you can get Wegovy for free or at a discount in one of the following ways.

Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy Savings Card program

Novo Nordisk makes Wegovy. It offers the Wegovy Savings Card program that you can use to get a discount on Wegovy or get Wegovy for free. 

If you have private or commercial insurance that covers Wegovy, with the program you could get a 28-day supply for free depending on what your insurance pays. It’s limited to a maximum savings of $225 for a 28-day supply and to 12 refills. 

If you have commercial insurance that doesn’t cover the drug, you can save up to $500 for a 28-day supply of Wegovy. So, instead of $1,425.51 a month, you’ll pay $925.51. Still pricey, but better.

Visit the Wegovy Savings Card eligibility page for details and to see if you qualify. 

Prescription discount cards

Medication, discounts, and coupons are available through prescription discount card programs, such as GoodRx, SingleCare, Blink Health, NeedyMeds, and many others. They offer savings ranging from 3% to 80% off the list price at different pharmacies. Savings are instantly accessible for free online with no need to register or qualify. 

For example, for the ZIP code 77449, in Houston (the most populated ZIP code in the US), you can get Wegovy for $1,334. Again, not a huge savings, but a little. 

Insurance coverage options for Wegovy

Insurance coverage is a great way to pay less out of pocket for Wegovy. You can get insurance from an employer through healthcare.gov or a private plan. 

Coverage for Wegovy varies from plan to plan. You can review your insurance policy paperwork to check which prescription drugs it covers. Alternatively, reach out to your provider’s customer service line and ask if Wegovy is covered. You can also check your cost and coverage on the Novo Nordisk website. 

Insurers that cover the cost of Wegovy include Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, BlueCross BlueShield, Molina, and Oscar Insurance Company. In most cases, these insurers require prior authorization (PA) before covering the cost of Wegovy.

About Prior Authorization

Wegovy is only FDA-approved for individuals 12 years and older with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and higher (obesity) and adults with a BMI of 27 and higher (overweight) who have weight-related medical problems. Some insurance providers may want prior authorization (PA) before they cover the medication for you.

During the PA process, the insurer asks your doctor for medical details. This is to confirm if you meet the FDA-approved criteria for Wegovy use.

If your insurer denies coverage after the PA process, you can appeal. Contact your insurer to determine the steps of its appeals process. In other cases where your insurer doesn’t cover Wegovy, you can request your insurance add coverage for Wegovy. If your appeal or request fails, a prescription discount card or alternative medication may be your best bet.

90-day or mail-order refills

If your insurance covers Wegovy, you may be able to save if you opt for a 90-day supply. With a 90-day supply you pay your co-pay once for 90 days instead of once every 30. While some insurers encourage buying in 90-day increments, others won’t cover the cost of a longer-term supply. Contact your insurance provider for details on coverage for a 90-day supply. 

Your insurer may also charge a lower copay if you opt for a 90-day supply through the mail. Check with your insurance plan to see if this is an option for you. 

HSAs and FSAs

With a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you stash away pre-tax dollars for medical expenses later on, including medications like Wegovy. You can also increase your contribution once a year during open enrollment. 

If you’re footing the bill for Wegovy or facing high drug copays and have funds in an FSA or HSA, you can use your account to cover the cost. 

FSA or HSA funds help you cover a more significant part of the drug’s cost. Both accounts offer tax advantages for qualified medical expenses. However, they have different eligibility criteria based on plan types and employment status. Ask your employer for details.

Government insurance programs for accessing Wegovy for free

Some government insurance programs offer coverage of Wegovy’s cost. The amount will vary, as with any insurance.

Medicare (available to those 65 and over or younger with a disability) doesn’t cover Wegovy. But private insurance companies that offer Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans on top of Medicare may cover Wegovy.

Medicaid covers Wegovy. It’s available from state governments to people who qualify, such as those who are low-income, qualified pregnant women and children, and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Tricare is a health program for active-duty service members, their families, and survivors. Tricare pharmacy benefits cover Wegovy when you fill it at a pharmacy in the Tricare network. You will need prior authorization (PA).

If you’re a veteran receiving care through Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care, you may be able to get Wegovy covered as part of your treatment plan under the MOVE! Weight Management Program. Coverage can depend on your weight and the policies of your local VA facility. Contact your local VA provider to learn more.

Affordable alternative weight loss medications for Wegovy

If Wegovy isn’t affordable for you, there are possible alternative weight-loss injections and oral weight-loss pills you can discuss with your healthcare provider. 

We list alternatives by cost from lowest to highest for cost comparison purposes only.

Phendimetrazine tartrate

Average retail price: $13.60 for 60 (35 mg) tablets* 

About: Phendimetrazine tartrate stimulates the central nervous system to reduce appetite and help with short-term weight loss when combined with a doctor-approved exercise regimen, a reduced-calorie diet, and behavior modification. It’s approved for people who are obese or overweight with weight-related medical issues.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards.

Diethylpropion ER

Average retail price: $58.14 to $162.50 for 30 (75 mg) tablets*

About: Diethylpropion ER is a generic medication that works as an appetite suppressant. It’s used short-term in a weight reduction program with diet and exercise. Those who are significantly overweight or obese and haven’t lost enough weight with diet and exercise alone might consider this medication.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards.

Qsymia (phentermine-topiramate)

Average retail price: $217.11 for 30 (7.5 mg/46 mg) capsules*

About: Qsymia contains the active ingredients phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine suppresses appetite, while topiramate is an anticonvulsant that can help with weight loss. Qsymia is approved for use in people who are obese or have a BMI of 27 or higher and weight-related health problems.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards and the manufacturer’s savings program.

Xenical and Alli (orlistat)

Average retail price: $803 for 90 (120 mg) capsules of Xenical*; $55.20 for 90 (60 mg) capsules of Alli*

About: Both Xenical and Alli use the active ingredient orlistat. They help with weight loss by reducing the absorption of dietary fats. Xenical is prescribed in higher doses and is available by prescription. Alli is a lower-dose drug available over the counter. Those who use Xenical or Alli should also follow a reduced-calorie diet and exercise regimen. Xenical is approved for use in people with a BMI of 30 or higher.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards and possible manufacturer coupons.

Contrave (bupropion-naltrexone)

Average retail price: $667.84 for 90 (8 mg/) tablets*

About: Contrave is an oral drug used for weight management. It contains two active ingredients — bupropion and naltrexone. It works as an appetite suppressant and reduces cravings. Use should be paired with a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity. It’s approved for adults with a BMI of 30 or higher or a BMI of 27 or higher with a weight-related medical problem. 

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards.

Saxenda (liraglutide) 

Average retail price: $1,349.02 to $1,430.10 for a pack of 5 (3 ml) pens**

About: Saxenda is an injectable drug approved for chronic weight management. It contains liraglutide to effectively reduce food intake and regulate appetite when used with diet and exercise. It’s approved for adults who are overweight (have a BMI of 27 or higher) with a weight-related medical problem or obese (have a BMI of 30 or higher).

How to save: Explore prescription discount card programs and the manufacturer’s savings program.

Zepbound (tirzepatide)

Average retail price: $1,059.87 for a pack of 4 (0.5 ml) pens per the manufacturer

About: Zepbound is for chronic weight management. The once-weekly injection contains the active ingredient tirzepatide. The drug promotes fullness, delays gastric emptying, and improves insulin sensitivity for long-term weight loss. Zepbound is approved for use in adults with obesity or excess weight (overweight) with a weight-related medical issue. You should use it alongside a reduced-calorie diet and exercise regimen.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards and the manufacturer’s savings program.

Off-label Wegovy alternatives

There are medications approved for type 2 diabetes that also lead to weight loss. Your provider could choose to prescribe these off-label (for an unapproved purpose) for weight loss instead of type 2 diabetes. Most have a similar cost to Wegovy though.

Note: Prescribing any medication off-label can put patients and healthcare providers at risk. Ozempic is in short supply due to its popularity as a weight-loss drug, which has put diabetes patients at risk. Insurers have also warned providers about prescribing medicines off-label, like Ozempic for weight loss. Before taking any medication off-label, discuss the pros and cons with your doctor. 

Here, we list alternatives by cost from lowest to highest for cost comparison purposes only.

Ozempic (semaglutide)

Average retail price: $935.77 to $994.85 for a one-month supply**

About: Ozempic is a once-weekly injectable medication for type 2 diabetes. It’s similar to Wegovy and contains the active ingredient semaglutide. It’s used off-label for weight loss. 

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards, the manufacturer’s savings program, or the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program (PAP).

Trulicity (dulaglutide)

Average retail price: $989.72 for a one-month supply*

About: Trulicity is a once-weekly injectable medication that contains the active ingredient dulaglutide. Its primary use is for blood sugar regulation for type 2 diabetes. However, it can be used off-label for weight loss.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards and the manufacturer’s savings program.

Rybelsus (semaglutide)

Average retail price: $994.86 or a one-month supply**

About: Rybelsus is an oral version of semaglutide for type 2 diabetes. It’s used off-label for weight loss. 

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards, the manufacturer’s savings program, or the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program (PAP).

Mounjaro (tirzepatide)

Average retail price: $1,086.76 per for a pack of 4 (0.5ml) pens*

About: Mounjaro is a non-insulin-based injectable drug for type 2 diabetes. It’s identical to Zepbound and simply sold under a different name for a different patient population. It can be used off-label for weight loss. 

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards and the manufacturer’s savings program.

Victoza (liraglutide) 

Average retail price: $1,185.50 for a pack of 3 (1.8 mg) pens*

About: Victoza is an injectable medication for blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes. It’s similar to Saxenda and contains the active ingredient liraglutide, which helps with weight loss. It can be used off-label for weight loss.

How to save: Explore prescription discount cards or the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program (PAP).

* Average retail price from drugs.com.

**Average retail price from drugs.com and the manufacturer’s website.

Potential risks and benefits of getting Wegovy for less

If you search for Wegovy online, you’ll run into ads offering semaglutide for less than $300. That’s a tempting price, given what Wegovy can cost. Know though that these ads are not for Wegovy but for a compounded version from either a U.S. or foreign-based company. 

Compounding pharmacies produce medications on demand using pharmaceutical-grade active ingredients. You can find semaglutide compounds at compounding pharmacies in many states and internationally. 

Although compounded semaglutide should work the same way as branded semaglutide, like Ozempic and Wegovy, it doesn’t go through the rigorous process of FDA testing. Still, reputable compound pharmacies can offer viable alternatives. 

Talk to your healthcare provider before taking this route. And if you do, choose a reputable U.S.-based compounding pharmacy. 

Find a healthcare professional on Klarity and see if Wegovy is right for you

If you’re ready to start the journey to a healthier you or want a new provider for medication-managed weight loss, find an independent healthcare professional who specializes in weight management on the Klarity platform. Your provider can help you determine if Wegovy or another medication or program is right for you. Get started and find a provider today.

You can also find a provider for a variety of concerns on Klarity, including help with depression, insomnia, anxiety, and more – whether weight-related or not. 

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Kasra Tayebi

Dr. Kasra Tayebi, a seasoned specialist in internal medicine, is passionate about his commitment to patient well-being and health education. With a wealth of experience, Dr. Tayebi plays a pivotal role at UIHealth, where he provides personalized and compassionate care to his patients. Holding an MD degree from the University of Queensland, he combines his academic excellence with practical expertise to empower individuals in understanding and managing their health effectively.

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