Sesame and Costco team up for weight loss program

Steven Loeb · April 2, 2024 · Short URL:

This is an extension of the partnership between the two companies that launched in September

42% of US adults, or 108 million people, are classified as obese, which is defined as a body mass index above 30. While the desire to lose weight is certainly nothing new, there have been some recent developments that have completely changed the game. 

GLP-1 drugs, the most famous being Ozympic, have caught on fast: a poll conducted last year found that nearly half of adults would be interested in prescription weight-loss drugs. And now an even wider swath of the population will have access to them thanks to a partnership between Sesame, a direct-pay healthcare marketplace for medical care services, and wholesale retailer Costco, which together have launched a new weight loss program.

Through this collaboration, Costco's nearly 130 million members will be able to sign up for program, which costs $179 for three months.

Members can choose a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in weight management, who they will then talk about their history, weight goals and treatment plan. The provider will order a lab test if recent metabolic data is needed and sends a prescription if appropriate; if medication is prescribed, the provider will handle insurance paperwork and send the prescription to the member's pharmacy.

Once they begin their prescribed weight loss program with the medication or therapy provided, members will get continued access to your selected provider, including ongoing messaging communication.

The cost of medication, such as Rybelsus, Wegovy, Ozempic, and Saxenda, as well as any lab work done, are not included in the subscription price, but may be covered if the member is insured. In addition, the provider may order a metabolic panel if the member doesn't have recent metabolic testing data available, which is also not included in the program cost.

Founded in 2018, the New York-based Sesame is a platform built to bypass insurance, instead offering a dynamic marketplace for medical care services, allowing consumers who can't afford care to shop for either in-person or via telehealth and pay their physician directly. The marketplace is composed of primary care doctors and nurse practitioners in more than 40 health specialties, including mental health, GI, OB-GYN, cardiology, dermatology, urology, labs, and imaging.

While consumers are able to book appointments on Sesame on an as-needed basis, the company also offers a subscription service called Sesame Plus for $99 per year, or pay $10.99 per month, where members get discounts on visit to their doctor, as well as a free lab or blood test every year.

“We are witnessing important innovations in medically-supervised weight loss,” David Goldhill, Sesame‘s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. 

“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.”

This new program is an expansion of Sesame's initial partnership with Costco, announced in September, which gave Costco members the ability to shop for healthcare services, including $29 virtual primary care visits, $72 health checkups, and virtual mental health therapy for $79.

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