Young Entrepreneur of the Year

“I wanted to create a healthcare system that I would be happy to be not only a provider but a patient in”

 

A lifetime of education led Dr. Johnny Luo to the graduation stage of Brown Medical School, clinical training in North Smithfield, and into the lives of his patients. Dr. Luo was prepared to treat their illnesses and injuries but he was certainly not prepared to explain health insurance. More often than not, Dr. Luo found himself helping Medicare eligible patients understand the various plans as part of his daily routine especially as the Affordable Care Act was being implemented.

Frustrated with the lack of clear education about these plans, Dr. Luo made the decision to no longer pursue clinical medicine but start educating people on how to make the best decision for their healthcare. Doctor’s Choice was born as a resource to help individuals make an educated decision regarding Medicare health plan coverage.

“It was never about the degree or the pride of being a doctor it was really about healing healthcare,” said Dr. Luo, “I’m really passionate about healthcare but more selfishly I wanted to create a healthcare system that I would be happy to be not only a provider but a patient in,” he added.

Doctor’s Choice operates as a “choice model” brokerage, meaning they’re not tied to any particular insurance company. Their mission being to offer as many competitive Medicare health plan options as possible while providing the guidance to help individuals decide which option is most suitable for them. Doctor’s Choice is paid a fee from the insurance companies they work with to help their customers with enrollment, this model allows their consultations to be free of charge.

As a testament to how difficult these healthcare plans can be to maneuver, Dr. Luo has seen tremendous growth, tripling the size of his Warwick office, expanding his services to 23 states, and hiring six new employees in the last year. He has also published a book, “The Retiree’s Guide to Medicare”, as well as expanded his services to work with some of the largest employers to help educate retirees as well as family members of employees.

“There is no lack of information out there, the government gives you a giant book every single year called “Medicare and you”, it’s very comprehensive,” said Luo, “the problem is that people are not looking for more information, what people are really looking for is actual guidance. What we do that’s different from anywhere else is that we do a full analysis of each market that we’re in, we take a look at who’s enrolling in what, and also the experience they are having –whether they’re happy with their plan or not- and we end up being able to recommend plans based on a person’s specific medical conditions, what drugs they take, how comfortable they are with risk, as well as what their lifestyle looks like.”

While Dr. Luo’s age may dictate youth, his wisdom and understanding of both business and life is anything but, “Savor the journey that gets you to the next level,” he said. “The journey is what makes everything you work for, worth it. Never settle because you can always do more, give more and accomplish more, and in the end enjoy more. This is the distinguishing factor between the life you want to live and the life you deserve to live.”

For his demonstrated success and potential for future growth, the U.S. Small Business Administration is pleased to honor Dr. Johnny Luo, President of Doctor’s Choice, as the 2018 Rhode Island Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

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