His parents have been owners of a successful Medicare-related insurance agency for as long as he’s been alive, so you might expect Augustus Holm, a senior at The Bishop’s School, to be mulling over a career in that field. You wouldn’t be wrong.
But what you might not suspect is that Holm, at just 17, is not planning to work for his parents. The Stanford University-bound Holm is already steeped in his own startup business that targets Medicare agents.
Holm is founder and CEO of CheckRx, a data intelligence company that bridges the gap between data and decision-making for Medicare beneficiaries and those who serve them. CheckRx combines data analytics, tools and visualization in a user-friendly platform.
Holm said the groundbreaking app promises to revolutionize the way Medicare beneficiaries and service providers interact by significantly expediting the prescription review process.
Holm said that based on a waitlist of 4,400 Medicare agents who are ready and willing to pay $9.99 a month to access CheckRx on an app, he expects to earn about $600,000 this year. He said based on Medicare agents’ needs and once current beta testing is finished, CheckRx revenue “could actually be higher, with 10,000 users and $1.44 million.”
Holm’s parents, Patricia Salas and Thomas Holm, have run South Bay Health & Insurance Services since 2006. The Medicare-focused insurance agency in Chula Vista, which counts CheckRx as a tenant, helps educate clients about finding the best Medicare and Medi-Cal plans, helping them make informed choices and decisions.
His grandmother was also an insurance agent, and Holm said his first job was “helping her find prescriptions in her giant binder filled with formularies.”
“I obviously love the Medicare health space,” said Holm, who expects his company to become the premier tool among Medicare agents as a fast, accurate and compliant application.
Medicare beneficiaries and their agents can take up to 30 minutes to do a proper and compliant review of prescriptions, he said. Because of time considerations, some agents skip this process.
“That leads to one of the most common complaints (of beneficiaries),” Holm said. “‘My agent told me my prescription was covered and it wasn’t.’ Our new app transforms this process from 30 minutes to just under three.”
The exact number of Medicare insurance agents is unknown but according to MedicareAdvantage.com’s analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS program statistics on total Medicare enrollment, there are more nearly 66 million Americans enrolled in Medicare in 2023.
Holm said that while he has longer-reaching plans that will allow Medicare beneficiaries to use CheckRx as well, the current model for CheckRx allows for Medicare agents to help clients in three steps.
Holm said that using a formulary search engine, agents scan, upload or search for drug to add to a digital prescription list that matches a client’s needs. Then they can use the CheckRx comparison tool, for the best prescription drug plan, with a comprehensive cost and coverage analysis using different copay levels and tiers. Information is then stored in a customer relationship management system or can be sent to the agent’s email through a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant database.
CheckRx expected to roll out its website this with beta testing underway. The CheckRx app will be available for download on various platforms soon.
Holm doesn’t turn 18 until February but the young man is savvy when it comes to business. He said he began investing online in 2020.
“I fell in love with the stock market,” he said. “I got lucky with Tesla – their huge run and eventual stock split. I then hopped onto the Wall Street Bets craze and luckily grew my personal investments. I was able to net a 380% gain in one year. I then began to swing trade, developed better strategies, and actively shared tips with friends and family, which eventually grew into me managing funds for a few people.”
Holm said that most of that money went into funding the creation of CheckRx. After creating a proof of concept, he said he was able to secure $350,000 from angel investors in January. In March, Holm brought on friend Andrik Chairez to help CheckRx move along.
Chairez said watching his mother try to navigate the Medicare application process, he saw that “Medicare plan data was often hidden behind paywalls or on platforms ill-suited for field agents.”
He said the solutions available were either too general for the average prospect or too cumbersome for those who had their members’ interest at heart.
“It was a personal experience that solidified my commitment,” Chairez said. “I firmly believe that no one should have to go to such lengths to make informed decisions.”
FOUNDED: January 2023
FOUNDER AND CEO: Augustus Holm
HEADQUARTERS: Chula Vista
BUSINESS: Data intelligence
REVENUE: Holm said that based on a waitlist of 4,400 users, he expects about $600,000 this year
CONTACT: email@example.com; checkrx.com/contact
SOCIAL IMPACT: Holm founded the nonprofit Youth Philanthropy Council
NOTABLE: When he’s not working on CheckRx or doing schoolwork, Holm likes to race dirt bikes and play the guitar.