1 in 4 people taking weight loss drugs say insurance covered the full cost

Most adults who have taken GLP-1 drugs say their insurance has covered at least part of the cost, according to a survey from KFF published May 10. 

The research organization surveyed 1,479 U.S. adults on their experiences with GLP-1 drugs. Around 1 in 8 reported using GLP-1 drugs at some point, and 6% said they are currently taking these drugs. 

Of insured adults who reported taking the drugs, 24% said their insurance covered the entire cost of the treatment. The majority of respondents, 57%, said insurance covered part of the cost. The remaining 19% paid entirely out of pocket. 

Half of those who had taken GLP-1 drugs reported it was somewhat or very difficult to afford the drugs. 

GLP-1 drugs, which include Ozempic, Trulicity, Victoza and Mounjaro, are approved to treat Type 2 diabetes, though these drugs are prescribed off-label for weight loss. Wegovy and Saxenda are approved for weight loss. The drugs can cost upward of $15,000 a year. 

Federal law bans Medicare from covering drugs for weight loss only. The FDA recently approved Wegovy to be used to prevent cardiovascular events in adults with cardiovascular disease who are also obese or overweight, opening up Medicare coverage of the drug in some cases. 

In KFF's poll, 6 in 10 respondents said Medicare should cover the cost of weight loss drugs. 

See the full survey here. 

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