Costco Offers Members Weight Loss Program Through Sesame Partnership

Not only can Costco members get a cheap slice of pizza, chicken bake, or $1.50 hot dog and soda combo, but now members may receive a discount on Sesame’s weight loss program.

Sesame, a telehealth platform, announced last week that Costco members would be eligible to receive weight loss care with special discounts through their weight loss program which includes access to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists like Ozempic.

The marketplace platform, Sesame, aims to connect patients directly with providers, skipping the complexities caused by the United States healthcare system. The services are primarily aimed at individuals without insurance. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27.6 million Americans were without a health insurance plan in 2022.

Sesame claims its healthcare management tools have reduced costs for 250,000 Americans by eliminating the middleman. As of 2022, Sesame says it has saved patients more than $25 million.

Via the Sesame marketplace, Costco members may subscribe to the weight loss program for $179 per subscription period or three months. Those without a Costco membership may access the same weight loss program for $195 per three months. Sesame claims its weight loss program is the most affordable on the market.

Those without a Costco membership may apply at any Costco location or online. Membership prices vary from $120 or $60 per year. Both membership deals provide access to Sesame’s weight loss program.

“We are witnessing important innovations in medically-supervised weight loss,” Sesame‘s co-founder and CEO David Goldhill said in a news release. "Sesame’s unique model allows us not only to make high-quality specialty care like weight loss much more accessible and affordable but also to empower clinicians to create care plans that are specific to — and appropriate for — each individual patient.”

After creating a free Sesame account and verifying a Costco membership, individuals may sign up for the exclusive deal and receive virtual clinical consultation, a nutrition guide with recommendations, and access to weight-loss medications.

Ways to lose weight are growing in demand as many Americans struggle with obesity. The CDC says the obesity prevalence was 41.9% from 2017-2020, which is more than a 10% increase from data recorded in 1999-2000.

Weight loss drugs like Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic have gained much attention on social media platforms for their ability to provide quick weight loss. A 2023 Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health Tracking Poll found Americans are craving weight loss drugs at low costs.

Although the Sesame and Costco partnership provides an affordable program for weight loss journeys, it does not make weight loss medications cheaper for those who are uninsured. Sesame says its weight loss program does not cover the costs of GLP-1 medications like Ozempic.

Individuals without insurance seeking cheaper costs for their Ozempic prescriptions from a medical professional can apply to Novo Nordisk’s savings program which may provide financial assistance. Certain qualifications for the program do apply.

In September, Sesame and Costco teamed up to provide Costco members with discounts on outpatient care. These include $29 virtual primary visits, virtual mental health therapy for $79, and 10% off all other Sesame services, such as in-person appointments.

Sesame says its marketplace includes primary care physicians and nurses in various specialties that are inclusive of virtual and in-person care. The only catch is Sesame does not accept health insurance, which they say helps keep care costs low.

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