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In this blog, I will help you navigate the healthcare system, including your healthcare benefits. Think of me like your captain on this journey. But rather than tell you the what, why, and how to navigate the healthcare system. I thought it best to start by telling you a little bit about myself and how I’ve navigated the healthcare system for my healthcare needs.  

Here’s a little about myself, my health, and my healthcare benefits…

About Me

boat-captain-resizeI am 38. I am an entrepreneur. I have a pharmacy degree and an MBA. I grew up in Hawaii and now live in the midwest. I have a loving wife and two sons.  I live in the suburbs and work in the city. I drive a Volvo but long for my old Honda Fit. I love food. I love craft beer. I yearn for a beach vacation but will settle for just about any time off. I love travel but hate traveling. As a parent, fun means sleeping and I never have enough fun. I always feel tired but never want to go to bed. (Parents, can you relate?)

About My Health

There are twclutter-resizeo parts to my health – pre-kids and post-kids. Before I had kids, I stayed fairly active. I went to the gym, ran marathons, and even completed a triathlon. I always had a high metabolism so I never really watched what I ate or drank. After I had kids, I feel the effects of aging starting to catch up to me. I haven’t been to the gym since my second child was born. Every blue moon, I  go out for a jog but come back with a new pain, somewhere in my knee. Oh, and my back hurts … well, pretty much all the time from sitting at a desk. I have GERD (aka heartburn) and take Omeprazole (generic Prilosec) daily. I was treated for gingivitis and now see the dentist every 4 months for maintenance. I have 20/40 vision and wear daily contact lens. I look in the mirror and see some old guy staring back. This is 40!

About My Health Benefits

Since I’m an entrepreneur, I get my health insurance through my wife. (Yeah, this is a thang!) Every paycheck, my wife has $200 deducted to cover the four of us. To put things in perspective, when I left my corporate job, I would’ve paid $1,000 per month for COBRA. Since COBRA is essentially the cost of insurance without any employer contribution, I realized how much health insurance really costs! Despite this, I wouldn’t call our insurance good. Our health plan has a $7,000 deductible, which we will never reach. So we view our insurance as protection, in case we go in the hospital or something really unfortunate happens. But we make the most of our Health Savings Account (HSA), contributing $6,750 annually, and use it to pay for just about everything.

money-coins-resizeSince we moved to the midwest, I haven’t found a primary care doctor. In fact, I haven’t had a doctor since high school when I went to my pediatrician. I use telemedicine whenever I know what I have and the retail clinic whenever I don’t know what I have. (Getting sick is pretty common with two little ones in daycare.) I use the Kroger Pharmacy near our house because it’s convenient, 24 hours, and has the cheapest prescriptions. I have a dentist that I really love. I see an optometrist who I really don’t love. But I still go to them because only they have my daily contact lens (more on this in an upcoming post). I used to see a chiropractor but stopped when I just couldn’t take time off for all the appointments. I used to see a shiatsu massage therapist, even getting a prescription so I could use my HSA dollars. Overall, I probably spend about $500 on healthcare each year. And our family spends maybe $1000 total on healthcare each year. This is a far cry from our $7,000 annual deductible so I typically shop around, trying my best to minimize my use of the healthcare system.

So over the next few posts, I’ll cover my recent experiences with the following:

  • Telemedicine
  • Retail Clinic
  • Pharmacy
  • OTC
  • Dentist
  • Optometry, Glasses, & Contacts
  • Chiropractor
  • Massage Therapist
  • Annual Physical
  • Labs, Biometrics, Flu Shot

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  What about HIPAA?  Well, there’s nothing against me sharing my personal and private health information. (And really, what are you going to do with the fact that you know I have GERD?!?) I’m doing this to essentially give you a window into how I navigate the healthcare and healthcare benefits system.

But I encourage you to ask me questions so I can use real examples to help you and the readers. So rest assured, I will NEVER disclose personal and private information. In fact, don’t even tell me your name or anything that can identify you. Just tell me your question and any relevant background information. I will answer your question, blinding and removing any information that could be construed as personal or private health information. What matters is the information and recommendation to help you and anyone else facing a similar situation. I really hope you will share your experiences and questions with me so I can help others navigate the healthcare system.

Wishing you health, wealth, and happiness!


Shaun Young

When people tell me about their frustrations with healthcare, it’s always about the healthcare and health insurance system; it’s never about the actual healthcare. My sole purpose is to help you navigate the healthcare system and your healthcare benefits. I’ve spent almost two decades inside and across the entire healthcare system with corporate leaders, such as Eli Lilly, Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, and Cardinal Health. And my professional experiences cuts across clinical with a Doctor of Pharmacy from University of the Pacific and business with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Please reach out and ask me your questions about navigating the healthcare and health insurance system.

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A Little About Me…

In this blog, I will help you navigate the healthcare system, including your healthcare benefits. Think of me like your captain on this journey. But rather than tell you the what, why, and how to navigate the healthcare system. I thought it best to start by telling you a little bit about myself and how I’ve navigated the healthcare system for my healthcare needs.

Hello, how can I help you?

Everyone remembers their first day at work. As a newly minted pharmacist, I went in thinking that I’d change the world, one patient at a time. But within my first hour, I met someone that would end up changing my world instead. A mom came in with a prescription for her daughter. The prescription was for a common antibiotic that we’ve all probably taken before. However, this mom did not have insurance and the prescription came out to $40. The mom did not have $40 to pay for that prescription. So I did what I thought was right and took out $40 to pay for her daughter’s prescription. The daughter was grinning from ear-to-ear and the mom was on the verge of tears. The mom left with a prescription that her daughter needed; and I felt like I was making a difference in the world.