Trending topic: weight loss drugs and employer health plans

    Authored by Bukaty Companies on October 24, 2023

    Weight loss trends fade in and out of popularity, but the latest solution has employers looking at the implications on their benefit plan design. GLP-1s are an in-demand, high-cost class of medications that were originally used to treat diabetes, but have garnered attention for their effect on weight loss. It is estimated that almost a quarter of U.S. employers cover prescription drugs for weight loss in their benefits lineup. While these prescriptions can be effective aids in dropping pounds and combating excessive weight, employers should evaluate if the benefits of covering the drugs in their formulary would exceed the costs.   

    One reason for employers to cover weight loss drugs is the long-term impact it could have on boosting employee health and lowering health care costs. Obesity and excess weight come with elevated health risks like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and more. These issues can cause a domino effect on the financial and mental wellness of employees, resulting in low productivity and high stress levels. Weight loss drugs are pricey but can potentially preclude a slew of health risks and free up financial resources down the line.   

    One the other side of the coin, employers can seek alternative options to support those struggling with weight management within their workforce. Obesity is a complex issue with no one-size-fits-all solution. Promoting wellness programs and lifestyle changes can be just as effective in impacting weight loss. Left with the choice of adding weight loss drugs to their formularies or not, employers face the challenge of determining which options fit their organizational needs. 

    Blog Category: Business Solutions