No membership fee for GLP-1 injectables

If your Cedars-Sinai virtual provider decides it’s appropriate, you may be prescribed a GLP-1 like semaglutide (generic for Ozempic® and Wegovy®).

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A step-by-step guide to weight management

Chatting with provider

Video chat with your provider

Speak with a Cedars-Sinai provider trained in weight care to see if you’re eligible for GLP-1 medication.
1
Medication

Review your care plan

After completing your labs, your provider will create a long-term care plan just for you.
2
Provider

Receive treatment

If you’re prescribed medication, we’ll work with your insurance to try to make it as affordable as possible.
3

FDA-approved weight loss medications

  • Zepbound

    Tirzepatide

  • Wegovy

    Semaglutide

  • Saxenda

    Liraglutide

Take control of your weight with Cedars-Sinai today

If your provider thinks you’re a good fit, they can prescribe a GLP-1 medication like Wegovy and help work with your health insurance to get the costs covered, if possible.

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Cedars-Sinai Connect gives people throughout California 24/7 access to our world-class care from the comfort of their homes. As a physician, I’m excited to offer a broader range of options for patients to improve and maintain their health.

Caroline L. Goldzweig, MD, MS
Chief Medical Officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Care Foundation
Caroline L. Goldzweig, MD, MS

FAQs

  • What does the whole program cost?
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    There is no membership fee to participate in the Cedars-Sinai Connect Weight Management program. When you need to see your medical provider, you can pay for video visits on the Cedars-Sinai Connect app using your health insurance. We collect co-payments and/or co-insurance in accordance with your insurer’s policy on telehealth consultations and services. Most major insurers are accepted. Please check with your insurer if you have any questions.

    If prescribed, you can purchase your medication from your local pharmacy and pay using your health insurance as well. If you’re prescribed a medication that requires prior authorization, we’ll help work with your insurance to try to make it as affordable as possible. We have a dedicated team with experience handling prior authorizations who will submit the documentation to your insurance for you and manage any appeals.

    How do GLP-1 receptor agonists work?
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    Each of the FDA-approved GLP-1 receptor agonist medications work in a slightly different way to support weight loss. Some may reduce your appetite while others may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods that you eat.

    It is important to note that these medications are not a replacement for exercise and a healthy diet. If you’re prescribed a weight loss medication, medical providers will likely recommend certain behavioral modifications, including a healthy eating and exercise program, to help you reap the most benefits from the medication, and manage or help prevent any related chronic conditions.

    How do I know if weight loss medication is right for me?
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    Many adults with health conditions associated with their weight are eligible for weight loss medication. These conditions include type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, among others.

    To be eligible for prescription weight loss medication through Cedars-Sinai Connect, medical providers conduct a strict screening process, which includes ensuring a certain Body Mass Index (BMI), the absence of certain medical conditions, and a history of unsuccessful weight loss with lifestyle modifications alone. If you don’t have a health condition associated with your weight, you must have a BMI of at least 30. If you do have a health condition associated with your weight, your BMI must be 27 or higher.

    If someone isn’t a good fit for weight loss medication, they can still use Cedars-Sinai Connect to manage other areas of their health, including lifestyle changes and chronic disease, mental health, and urgent care needs.

    What are the side effects of GLP-1 medications?
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    The most common side effects of GLP-1 weight loss medications are upset stomach, nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue. Typically, these symptoms are most severe in the first few weeks of taking medication and become milder or go away completely over time. Your medical provider will set an appropriate dosing schedule to manage any side effects you may experience and can adjust your care plan as needed.

    More serious side effects include thyroid tumors, including cancer, pancreatitis, gallbladder and kidney problems, and changes in mood. These reactions are rare, but if you experience any side effects that concern you, reach out to your provider.

    What if my insurance won’t pay for my medication?
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    Your medical provider and dedicated care team will work with you and your insurance to find the right care plan for you. Depending on your weight and other health conditions, you may be approved for a GLP-1 medication immediately, or your insurance may want to see you try other methods of weight loss first.

    If that’s the case, your provider can provide an alternate treatment as a first step and revisit your insurance authorization in a few months. In many cases, prior authorizations are approved the second time around.

    Your provider will never encourage you to take a medication that will not be affordable for you long-term by using a limited-time discount or similar method. We will work with you to ensure your care plan is affordable and sustainable.

  • Aren’t these medications just for diabetes? And isn’t there a shortage?
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    The GLP-1 medications tirzepatide, semaglutide, and liraglutide are FDA-approved for both type 2 diabetes and weight management under different brand names.

    If appropriate, your medical provider may prescribe you Zepbound (tirzepatide), Wegovy (semaglutide), or Saxenda (liraglutide), all of which are indicated for weight management, or another type of medication FDA-approved for weight management.

    Your provider may also prescribe metformin, a medication that helps to control blood sugar. While often used to treat type 2 diabetes, it can also be used to manage weight.

    Because of high demand, there are currently supply shortages of Saxenda and Wegovy. If you’re prescribed one of these medications, we recommend checking with your local pharmacy about their ability to fill your prescription. Your provider can send your prescription to a different pharmacy if needed, or possibly provide an alternate treatment plan as a first step and revisit your GLP-1 prescription later.

    Will my medical provider treat me for other health conditions I have?
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    Yes! Your medical provider will help you manage your whole health, including chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more. You’ll also be able to get care 24/7 for immediate health needs like cold and flu symptoms.

    What if I already have a primary care provider?
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    That’s fine. You’re welcome to use Cedars-Sinai Connect for your primary care needs, but if you’d prefer to keep working with your current provider, you can still participate in our weight management program.

    What is step therapy?
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    Step therapy is a type of prior authorization practiced by insurance providers. In step therapy, you begin treatment for a medical condition with the medication that’s considered “most preferred” (and is often less expensive) and progress to other therapies only if necessary.

    What that means for you is that in many cases, your insurance will not cover the costs of GLP-1 medication unless you show that other methods of weight management haven’t worked for you. Your dedicated care team at Cedars-Sinai Connect will help you navigate this process.

Finally, a medical way to 
manage your weight

Get help managing your weight and your whole health from a Cedars-Sinai medical provider through our easy-to-use app. Insurance accepted.

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