Welcome to your weight management program with PlushCare!

Guiding you through your weight loss journey

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What To Expect With Our Weight Management Program

With access to board-certified primary care physicians and certified health coaches, here's what you can expect throughout your journey.

1st Visit (Today)

Book a visit with a doctor online to discuss weight loss.

During your first visit, your PlushCare doctor will review your medical history and health goals. After your first visit, we recommend completing the following: 

  • Complete some lab work – It typically takes 3-5 days for us to receive your lab results. 

  • Verify your insurance coverage – Review your options and confirm which medications you qualify for with your insurance.

  • Review this hub for more info – Review the list of weight loss medications and healthy diet & exercise habits available on this page so you can discuss your treatment plan with your doctor. 

2nd Visit (Within 2 Weeks)

Review your lab results and see which medication may be right for you.

After your second visit, we recommend completing the following: 

  • Submit a Prior Authorization (PA) for insurance coverage – If a PA is needed, It typically takes 1-2 weeks to hear back from your insurance company.   

  • Start your medication – Pick up your prescription and begin treatment.

3rd Visit & Beyond (One Month Later)

Follow-up with your doctor monthly and health coach between visits to track progress.

Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion. If medication is prescribed, it will be sent to your pharmacy of choice. Learn more about what to expect after each visit below.

What to expect after your first visit

Discuss your health history, health goals, and past treatments with your doctor for personalized metabolic health recommendations.

Common weight loss medications

Check with your insurance provider to determine which medications are covered under your plan.


What are the pros and cons?

Mounjaro®

Pros

  • Improves blood sugar, with average 2.3% reduction in HA1C

  • Average loss of 15% of body weight when combined with diet and exercise

  • Reduces appetite and improves insulin resistance

  • Works great with low-carb, high-protein diets

Cons

  • No long-term safety data yet

  • Gastrointestinal side effects are commonly reported

  • May cause reactions at injection site

  • Regular monitoring of kidney function is needed

What are the pros and cons?

Ozempic®

Pros

  • Average of 12% of body weight loss with exercise and diet

  • Significantly lowers blood glucose levels (1.8% A1C reduction)

  • Works great with low-carb, low-calorie eating and daily moderate exercise

Cons

  • Only indicated for type 2 diabetes

  • Insurance may require prior authorization for each dose increase

  • Requires ongoing use and lifestyle changes for sustained A1C improvement

What are the pros and cons?

Saxenda®

Pros

  • FDA-approved for weight loss and type 2 diabetes

  • Once-a-day injection and easy to stop if there are side effects

  • Average of 5-9% of body weight loss with diet and exercise

  • Works great with low-carb, low-calorie eating and daily moderate exercise

Cons

  • Frequent injections needed

  • More complicated to travel with this medication

  • Requires ongoing use for sustained benefits

  • May cause gastrointestinal discomfort

What are the pros and cons?

Wegovy®

Pros

  • Can help reduce appetite and calorie intake

  • Convenient dosing with once-a-week injection

  • Lose an average of 12% of body weight with diet and exercise over roughly 1 year

Cons

  • May be expensive without insurance coverage

  • Prior authorization may be required with each dose increase

  • Can take a long time for side effects to wear off if you experience them

What are the pros and cons?

Zepbound

Pros

  • Convenient weekly dosing

  • Works well with healthy lifestyle modifications

  • Potentially lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol

Cons

  • Long-term safety data not yet known

  • Risk of injection site reactions

  • Associated with potential gastrointestinal side effects

Completing your lab work

After your first appointment, lab work is required to understand your health, determine which medications are safe for you, and allow us to personalize your diet and exercise goals.


  • Which labs are required?

    Labs may include Lipids, CBC, CMP, TSH, HA1C, fasting insulin, height, weight, and blood pressure.


  • How much will these lab tests cost?

    The cost of these labs may differ depending on your insurance coverage. Some insurance plans cover the cost of these labs and some may not. If you elect not to use your insurance for the labs, PlushCare has a discounted cash rate option with Quest Diagnostics and basic weight management labs are $105.

    If you are interested in the discounted cash rate option (i.e. not going through your insurance), please let your physician know that you want to do the discounted cash rate option before they order your labs as you will need to obtain a prepaid lab slip prior to going to the Quest Diagnostics.


  • Where can I complete my labs?

    All of the lab tests we order through our system default to Quest Laboratory Services. If you need to complete your labs elsewhere, please contact your Care Team and they will send you a signed copy of our lab request that you can take to any lab.


  • How do I prepare for my lab tests?

    Please fast for 12 hours before the blood tests. You may drink water, but please avoid black coffee or tea. If you’re taking Biotin, stopping for 3 days before the lab tests is best, as it can change your TSH results.


  • How long after completing my labs will my results be ready?

    Results may take up to 3-5 business days. If you have done your labs and have not heard from us within 5 days, please email or call us to let us know your labs have been done.


  • What if I’ve recently completed these labs?

    If you have completed all the required labs within the past 2 months, please upload your labs when you check in for your second appointment.


    Learn more about the importance of lab tests for weight management.

At Home Lab Testing (An Alternative Lab Testing Option)

You can now enjoy our at-home lab tests for metabolic health that deliver accurate, affordable, and easy testing with the quality and reliability you deserve. Our wide variety of tests includes screening for thyroid disease, insulin resistance, prediabetes, diabetes, high cholesterol, and kidney and liver health. This option is available in all states except New York.

  • What home metabolic health panels do you offer?

    PlushCare offers AST, ALT, Serum Creatinine, Insulin, TSH, Lipid, HbA1C at-home lab testing kits. 


  • Who is this available to?

    Our at-home lab tests are available to patients in all 50 states. 


  • What is the cost?

    This lab set costs $109 and will be billed to your payment information on file. 


  • How long will it take to ship to me?

    It can take approximately 3-5 business days to ship. 


  • How long will it take for my lab results to process?

    It can take approximately 5 business days to process. 


  • How does PlushCare’s at home testing kit work?

    Unlike in person lab testing where vials of blood are taken from your arm, PlushCare's at home testing kit option collects drops of blood from your fingertip using a small lancet. For a more comprehensive overview on the collection process, here is the at home testing kit instructions that can be found as an insert with each testing kit. 

    If you already had your first visit with a physician and were issued an in person lab slip but would like to do an at home lab testing kit instead, please reach out to us by sending an email to [email protected] with your information and we can help get this at home testing kit option for you. Insurance does not cover this at home testing kit. If you wish to proceed with our convenient at home testing option, the cost of this lab set is $109 and will be billed to your payment information that you have on file. 

    Once your order is sent, additional information regarding your at home testing kit can be found here.

Verifying your insurance coverage

Contact your insurance company to verify which medication options are covered under your insurance plan and ask if they require prior authorization. Knowing what your plan covers will help you and your doctor identify the best treatment option.

  • How to find out if you have insurance coverage for weight loss medications:

    Insurance companies only cover FDA approved diabetes medications such as Ozempic (semaglutide), Mounjaro (tirzepatide), and Victoza (liraglutide), if you have type 2 diabetes. These same medications are also FDA approved for weight loss, but the weight loss version have different names. 

    The names of the weight loss medications are Wegovy (semalgutide), Zepbound (tirzepatide), and Saxenda (liraglutide).  If you do NOT have type 2 diabetes, you need to ask if your insurance company covers the FDA-approved weight loss medications in order to find out if you have insurance coverage for weight loss treatment.

  • What if I have a BMI of >27 and one weight-related medical condition, or a BMI of >30?

    You should ask about the following FDA approved weight loss medications based on your underlying medical conditions:


  • What if I have Type 2 Diabetes?

    You should ask about the following FDA approved diabetes medications with additional weight loss benefits:



What to expect after your second visit

During your second visit, your doctor will review your lab results, discuss medication options based on your medical conditions and cost, and help you set initial diet and exercise goals. If medications are recommended, your doctor will send a prescription at the end of this visit.

Submitting a prior authorization

Medication Shortages

  • Medication shortages for weight loss medications like GLP-1 agonists occur due to a variety of reasons and can contribute to intermittent availability issues. Please note that while we have no control over medication supply, we do closely monitor availability. 


    As of June 7, 2024:

    Please see the section below on compounded semaglutide or tirzepatide and discuss with your doctor to see if compounded medications are right for you. 

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Compounded Semaglutide

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Ozempic® and Wegovy®, which come as injection pens. Compounded forms of semaglutide usually come in a vial with syringes.  

  • Compounded Semaglutide Overview

    Compounded semaglutide is only available as an alternative to branded Ozempic® and Wegovy® as long as the dose remains on the drug shortages list. If those branded medication dosages are no longer on the FDA shortage list, compounded semaglutide will no longer be available.  

     

    Not every compounding pharmacy is the same and there may be variations of compounded medications per pharmacy. With our preferred compounding pharmacy, the compounded semaglutide is the exact molecular copy of the semaglutide base. The compounded semaglutide from our preferred pharmacy is not a salt form of semaglutide. The authenticity and potency of the compounded semaglutide from our preferred pharmacy are verified by an outside lab as well. Compounded semaglutide can come with B12 (california only) or with B12 and glycine. Compounded forms of semaglutide usually come in a vial with a small insulin syringe. 

    Please note:This service is currently available to residents in the following states: AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KS, MA, MD, ME, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TN, TX, UT, WA, WY.

    Compounded semaglutide is only available as an alternative to branded Ozempic® and Wegovy® as long as they remain on the FDA drug shortages list. If those branded medications are no longer on the FDA shortage list, compounded semaglutide will no longer be available. Although compounded semaglutide is not FDA-approved, our pharmacy provider complies with pertinent federal and state laws and FDA regulations. Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion.

  • Compounded Semaglutide Pricing

    Compounded medications are not covered by insurance. Patients can submit the cost for reimbursement through their HSA/FSA, but we do not currently accept these cards for the cost of the compounded semaglutide.

    PlushCare offers compounded semaglutide with pricing details below. Pricing is different between CA and other states because it is manufactured by a different company in California. The pricing below is solely for the medication and does not include doctors' visits, labs, or PlushCare membership costs.

    • For non-California residents, compounded semaglutide 0.25mg, 0.5 mg, or 1.0 mg - $299 per month 

    • California residents compounded semaglutide 0.25mg, 0.5mg, or 1.0mg - $399 per month

  • Compounded Semaglutide Dosing information

    If your physician prescribed you compounded semaglutide due to the shortage of Ozempic® and Wegovy®, please review the information below regarding dosing and administration of your medication.  


    Learn more about compounded semaglutide here. 

    Each vial expires 28 days after opening the vial and for safety reasons, any remainder after the 28 days should be discarded.

    The starting dose of this medication is 0.25mg subQ once per week, for 4 weeks. The medication can't be taken more frequently than once every 7 days. 


    It’s important to follow the titration schedule outlined by your doctor. It will help reduce the chance of side effects and help your body safely adjust to the medication. Your dose cannot be increased more frequently than once every 4 weeks.  Sometimes the dose does not need to be increased or is increased more slowly.  Please do NOT increase the dose of medication on your own.  You should see your doctor each month to determine if it's safe to increase and appropriate to increase to the next dose. 


    For any issues regarding medication administration issues (i.e. what happens if the medication is stored improperly, vial malfunctions, etc), please contact Strive pharmacy directly at 480-626-4366.


    For any questions regarding your prescription including shipping and delivery status, please reach out to Strive Pharmacy directly at 480-626-4366.


    For questions regarding dosing, side effects, or your treatment plan, please reach out to PlushCare at (800) 221-5140 and ask to speak with a nurse.


Compounded Tirzepatide

Tirzepatide is the active ingredient in Mounjaro® and Zepbound®. Review important information about this medication below, and ask your doctor if this may be a treatment option for you.

  • Compounded Tirzepatide Overview

    Compounded tirzepatide is only made possible if the brand name medication dosages are in shortage. If those branded medications, Mounjaro® and Zepbound®, dosages are no longer on the FDA shortage list, compounded tirzepatide will no longer be available.

    Not every compounding pharmacy is the same and there may be variations of compounded medications per pharmacy. With our preferred compounding pharmacy, the compounded tirzepatide is the exact molecular copy of the tirzepatide base. The compounded tirzepatide from our preferred pharmacy is not a salt form of tirzepatide. The authenticity and potency of the compounded tirzepatide from our preferred pharmacy are verified by an outside lab as well. Our preferred compounding pharmacy combines tirzepatide compounded with B12 and glycine. This medication is provided with a vial and a small insulin syringe.

    NOTE: This service is currently available to residents in the following states: AZ, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KS, MA, MD, ME, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TN, TX, UT, WA, WY.

    Compounded tirzepatide is only available as an alternative to branded Mounjaro® and Zepboundd® as long as the doses remain on the FDA drug shortages list. If certain doses of those branded medications are no longer on the FDA shortage list, their equivalent doses of compounded tirzepatide will no longer be available. Although compounded tirzepatide is not FDA-approved, our pharmacy provider complies with pertinent federal and state laws and FDA regulations. Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion.

  • Compounded Tirzepatide Pricing Information

    Pricing details below is solely for the medication and does not include doctors' visits, labs, or PlushCare membership costs:

    • Compounded Tirzepatide 5mg (1 vial) is $399 per month 

    • Compounded Tirzepatide 7.5mg and 10mg (2 vials) is $599 per month 

    • Compounded Tirzepatide 12.5mg and 15mg doses (3 vials) is $749 per month 


    Please note:
    the starting 2.5mg dose of tirzepatide is not currently on the FDA drug shortage list and is therefore unavailable for compounding through PlushCare at this time. Starting at a higher dose of this medication may cause significant side effects. Review patient instructions for how to administer this medication.

    If you're not currently on tirzepatide, please talk to your doctor about compounded semaglutide or other weight loss options that are available at starting doses. 

  • Compounded Tirzepatide Dosing Information

    If your physician prescribed you compounded tirzepatide due to the shortage of Mounjaro® and Zepbound®, please review the information below regarding dosing and administration of your medication.


    Learn more about compounded tirzepatide here

    Each vial expires 28 days after opening the vial and for safety reasons, any remainder after the 28 days should be discarded.

    It’s important to follow the titration schedule outlined by your doctor. It will help reduce the chance of side effects and help your body safely adjust to the medication. Your dose cannot be increased more frequently than once every 4 weeks. Sometimes the dose does not need to be increased or is increased more slowly. Please do NOT increase the dose of medication on your own. You should see your doctor each month to determine if it's safe to increase and appropriate to increase to the next dose.

    For any issues regarding medication administration issues (i.e. what happens if the medication is stored improperly, vial malfunction, etc), please contact Strive pharmacy directly at 480-626-4366.

    For any questions regarding your prescription including shipping and delivery status, please reach out to Strive Pharmacy directly at 480-626-4366.

    For questions regarding dosing, side effects, or your treatment plan, please reach out to PlushCare at (800) 221-5140 and ask to speak with a nurse.

Common Weight Loss Medication FAQs

What to expect after your third visit and beyond

After starting treatment, you’ll meet with your doctor monthly to discuss your progress, adjust medications as needed, and set new diet and exercise goals.

We're excited to help you take the first steps to live a longer, healthier, and happier life.

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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.