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Episode 19: Why You’re Seriously Overpaying For Health Insurance If You’re Healthy…And What To Do About It

On this show, we're talking about why the healthcare system is broken and why people with healthy guts and lifestyles are completely overpaying for their health plans. We talk about why current health plans are so expensive and why they don't cover functional and integrative practitioners?
Why You’re Seriously Overpaying For Health Insurance If You’re Healthy And What To Do About It

Health insurance and health care in America is expensive and broken. For those of us who are taking care of ourselves and staying out of the doctor’s office, it can feel like we’re paying huge deductibles and premiums…for not much in return.   

To add insult to injury, functional and integrative medicine doctors who are looking for root cause resolution as opposed to only treating symptoms often aren’t covered by traditional health plans. It almost feels as though healthy people are being penalized for making good diet and lifestyle decisions.   

James Maskell wants to change that. James has spent the past decade sparking debate at the cross section of functional medicine and community. To that end, he created the Functional Forum, the world’s largest integrative medicine conference with record-setting participation online and growing physician communities around the world. And now, he’s founded Knew Health, an affordable alternative to health insurance.

On this episode, he talks to Andrea about why functional care isn’t covered, how to get rewarded instead of penalized for taking care of yourself and how you can legally beat the health insurance system while saving thousands of dollars a year.   

To learn more about Knew Health, check out their website or follow them on social @knew_health, or connect with James on Instagram and Twitter @mrjamesmaskell.   

You can also plug in your information and get a health insurance quote from Knew Health on their online calculator.   

On this show, you’ll learn:   

  • What is health insurance and why is it so expensive? (1:51)
  • Why people should be rewarded for having a healthy gut (6:04)
  • What James is doing to help people reduce their insurance costs (8:05)
  • Why traditional insurance doesn’t cover functional medicine (16:12)
  • Cash price vs insurance price (20:36)
  • General savings that the members are seeing (24:31)
  • Who isn’t a good fit for this type of insurance (27:52)
  • Tips for finding a functional medicine practitioner (29:38)

BIOHM gut quiz


Andrea Wien: Welcome to the microbiome report powered by A new website featuring the work and advice of microbiome researcher Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum. I'm Andrea Wien, and today I'm talking to James Maskell, the founder of Knew Health: an affordable alternative to health insurance.

James has spent the past decade sparking debate, innovating at the cross section of functional medicine and community. To that end, he created the Functional Forum, the world's largest integrative medicine conference with record setting participation online and growing physician communities around the world.

On this show, we're talking about why the healthcare system is broken and why people with healthy guts and lifestyles are completely overpaying for their health plans. We talk about why current health plans are so expensive and why they don't cover functional and integrative practitioners?

Plus, James shares his strategy for taking control of your gut health and tapping into your community. When you listen to James speak suddenly reinventing what healthcare looks like in America feels totally doable and within our individual control. I'm really excited to get to the show. James, thank you so much for coming on the show.

James Maskell: Great to be here with you. Thanks so much for having me.

Andrea Wien: I'm so excited to talk about this topic because it's something that I personally have been really frustrated with over the years. Throughout my own health journey seeing functional medicine doctors not having them be covered by insurance, probably spending thousands. And then going to my conventional doctor and still having to pay deductibles and all of these other pieces and parts it just feels like there has to be a better way. I think to set the stage of what we're talking about today, why don't we start with the basics? What is health insurance and why is it so expensive?

James Maskell: Yeah. Health insurance is different in different countries, but America has some sort of very unique ways in which it's being created. I think we all have a really good idea of what insurance is in other areas outside of health. You understand car insurance or you understand home insurance.

We have insurance we pay this third party profit making company a premium to cover us in a certain number of circumstances that might happen. If it's a car, your car might blow up, your car might get stolen. If it's a home, it might burn down that kind of thing. We have a good idea that there's an emergency situation that happens and we're covered in that situation. And that's what sort of insurance is generally.

Now as the American health system sort of got built up around insurance. And if you go back and you can understand why for instance, employers pay most of the health costs in America, you can go back to the depression and you can understand the sort of unique way in which that came about.

But ultimately, what's happened in America is that health insurance we still call it insurance, but it's not really insurance. It's actually your health plan. And that includes a range of services that are either provided or provided under certain circumstances to certain people.

And ultimately, because it's not insurance in the same way it has that insurance component, but it also has other health plans. It's got really expensive because it just includes a lot of things. And ultimately, the biggest driver behind why health insurance is so expensive and we can get into to some of that.

But just before we talk about American health insurance, let's talk about why health is expensive generally because it's not just an American issue. I grew up in the UK, everyone sees they've got single-payer healthcare in America and in the UK, they've got the NHS. And surely that should be a solution to what we have here, but they're running out of money there too. Everything's expensive there too and there's not enough money to go around. What's the core issue here.

The core issue is just unprecedented amounts of chronic disease. Half the population having a chronic illness by lifetime use of medication that can be really expensive the costs keep going up. And that's one of the big drivers why the cost of healthcare in America keeps going up, but America has some very specific, unique things as well like the cost of everything in the system.

Why do things cost, why do drugs cost five times as much here than in Canada? Why can't you buy Canadian drugs and ship them illegally across the border? Why do lab tests sometimes cost five or 10 times or even 20 times as much if you pay with your insurance card and you use your deductible versus going directly to the labs?

This is all this opaque pricing that is just built into the modern American health system that's it's opaque by design. And it's really because the big three players in healthcare, the people that make the rules basically, insurance, pharma, and hospitals, they are all incentivized for health cost to go up.

And ultimately they've designed a system where people feel disempowered, where it's really complicated and where the first ports of call is drugs and surgery and not lifestyle or supplements or anything like that. It's a range of factors that play into why everything's so expensive, but it's a mixture of more chronically ill people and really high costs.

Andrea Wien: Well, it seems like the people who are healthy and are maybe going to something like a functional medicine doctor to just get more information about their health or haven't gone down this path of really chronic disease state yet are paying quite a lot for the people that have diabetes or have these chronic conditions. You've said that having a healthy gut is mostly a choice and that people aren't rewarded for that choice. Can you elaborate a bit on that?

James Maskell: Yeah. Having been in the functional medicine world for 15 years it's super clear to me that a healthy gut is the most important thing that you can have if you want to avoid such a range of diseases. Like the microbiome is so intimately connected to every other part of the body and that's just been the emerging science of particularly the last six years since the human microbiome project came out.

And if we understand that a healthy gut is critical to long-term health to avoiding not just heart disease, not just digestive diseases, which I guess are the most obvious, but think about all the auto immune diseases have gut permeability as a causative factor. If you have a healthy gut, the chances of you getting any of those chronic illnesses goes down dramatically.

And it is a choice to have a healthy gut because the number one driver of gut health is what you're putting down every day with food. But there's also other things like stress plays a big role, sleep plays more and more of a role. And these things are all under our control. And one of the things that we really wanted to fix with our version of the health system is we want it to have better incentives.

And in that sense, taking personal responsibility about the way that your gut functions and the health of your gut should be rewarded. And unfortunately, the way that we have it set up right now is that the people that get the most value quote unquote from their health plan, I get the most from it with paying the least are the people who are the sickest. And that is a subtle incentive, but it is very much there. And it is another driver of the exponential cost growth.

Andrea Wien: Let's take a step back and talk about what you're doing to really help people with healthy guts reduce their costs. And not just people with healthy guts, but people with healthy lives and lifestyles and ones who are really paying attention to a lot of this functional medicine work.

James Maskell: Ultimately, we've been in the business for the last 10 years of growing the functional medicine community. That was what we realized the first thing we realized there's not nearly enough doctors that understand root because medicine, but understand a type of medicine where the patient is empowered to participate in their care.

A kind of medicine where the body is seen as an integrated whole. We've been in the business for the last 10 years of bringing doctors across. I wrote a book called the Evolution of Medicine to try and make doing functional medicine cool, to try and bring doctors across from conventional medicine to have them practice in this way.

And then we've helped them build more affordable models of delivering that care with things like group visits and use of health coaches and other structures. That's been on the sort of doctor facing side. But what we came to realize is that for most people, the number one thing that sort of directs which practitioner to go to in which order the therapeutic order, if you will, what kinds of services do you reach for and what order is based on your health insurance plan?

And I've always had a desire to try and mess with that because I think you could probably appreciate and probably one of our listeners can appreciate is that if there were a plan where for avoidance of chronic illness and for many chronic illnesses, what if we started with the least invasive, least costly intervention first?

Mindset and food and these kinds of things before we got to, if you're looking like let's say you have some sort of bowel disease you're going to go to Humira. Humira costs $50,000 a year. It's an auto immune biological. That is the first recommendation for someone who comes in with those auto immune markers for in a general practice.

Why not start with a radical transformation of the diet or why not start with probiotics or why not start with something that can actually help to reseed the gut? And that's why we're seeing super elegant reversals of auto immune disease in functional medicine practices across the country we're starting this kind of thing.

We wanted to create a space where people could make real choices about what kind of health care based on their own value system. And up until 2018, well, let's go back a bit further. In 2017, say you didn't really have much of a choice. There was this thing called the individual mandate and that meant that you had to purchase your health insurance.

If you were someone who purchased your own health insurance like if you're self employed, you're not on Medicare, you're too young for Medicare, too old to be on your parents' insurance, but buying your own insurance, which is people who are independently employed, people who work at very small businesses, people that work in the gig economy, people who aren't getting their health insurance through their company, then you had to buy from the exchanges.

And that basically meant you had to buy from one or two different choices because of the oligopoly that's in that industry. You don't really have a lot of choices in that way. And that's another reason why everything's so expensive.

And for that reason, and because I really realized that health insurance was a prepaid drug plan, I actually didn't have health insurance for the first eight years that I lived in America. I arrived in 2005 and 2013 also because I was working in this world and I had a lot of doctor friends. And also because I grew up in England, I always knew if I get cancer, I can just fly back to England and get care there.

I was taking a risk, but I was taking not as big a risk as other people who didn't have health insurance, but I really couldn't afford it too. I was starting my own business out there in the world and I couldn't afford health insurance. And then in 2013, I had a daughter and my mother-in-law was pretty insistent that it was time to get health insurance and to have some sort of a reassurance in case of something going wrong.

And we wanted to have a home birth. And I started looking into what that would look like and what would be covered and how it would work. And there were no good options. It was in New York, it was $1,700 a month for the cheapest plan. They wouldn't cover the home birth and I was just like, "What else is out there?" And that's when I first came across this most American concept called a Christian cost-sharing ministry.

And probably if you're listening to this and you live in America, you've heard of it because more than a million Americans use it as of 2018, because it was the one way that you could avoid not getting the tax penalty and still have some sort of way of taking care of the downside risk of some sort of medical issue.

The cost sharing communities have a really interesting history in the '80s, church congregations that were bigger than 10,000 people kind of realize to themselves that rather than every 10th, all the 10,000 people in the community paying the local health insurance company a premium, what if we'll just make an agreement between us that if Johnny gets hit by a car and it costs $10,000 to fix him, why don't we all send Johnny a dollar?

And that was sort of the original idea. It was a community agreement about sharing your health costs and everyone made certain agreements about how they were going to take care of themselves. But then ultimately, in an emergency situation, if something came up like an illness or an injury that you needed medical care for that you could just share in the community. And the idea really started to take off.

And it really took off in the 2010 to 2018, because these five Christian ministries were given an exemption to the ACA. And it went from 160,000 people in 2010 to 1 million people in 2018. Now, I've be part of all these healthy communities. I've been working with doctors, I met all these health celebrities and I was like, "If there was ever a chance for us to build our own health cost sharing community because I love the idea, I love the way of people coming together to support each other."

This idea of community responsibility that's one of the things I found in that Christian group is that my mindset, even though it operated very like insurance in that I paid a certain amount every and every month. And there was a certain number that I would have to get to before the sharing kicked in similar to a deductible and it's similar to a premium.

I felt very differently about it. I didn't try and think, okay, I'm going to try and put as much stuff on this because someone else is paying the bill and just charge my Botox and a boob job. I was really focused on being a good communal custodian of the communal funds of the community. Even though I wasn't in the church that it was created in, I still felt that kind of vibe.

I thought this is something that I think we can really build upon. And I thought to myself, if ever we could build one of those take it away from being a Christian thing. But to be something that people who want to be healthy do as a community, this was something that we could bet on for the future of healthcare.

And then when the law changed on January 2018, I was like, "Let's do this." And here we are a year and a half later, we're live up and running. We've got a great community and Knew Health is born.

Andrea Wien: Man. I have so many questions and so many directions on where to go with this. I fell into this category as well because I was starting my own business. For years, I went on and off of health insurance. And then you were saying in 2017, when it became mandatory kind of scrambled to find the cheapest option. And even that was just basically catastrophe insurance and didn't cover anything else.

This is something that I've personally struggled with, I think before we move on into more of the model, because I want to hear a lot more about it. Why don't our traditional insurance companies cover these functional medicine practitioners?

James Maskell: Well, that's a good question. First and foremost, I think the science is not, the outcomes research on functional medicine is not quite there yet to be able to say let's bank on this. One of the things about functional medicine and it's, look, functional medicine is a discipline that is 25 years old at max. And most people have been doing it for five years because it's taken off in the last five years. The numbers of doctors doing it.

First, the evidence base really isn't there. It is arriving very quickly the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine is gathering outcomes. Possible Health is gathering outcomes. There's a lot of exciting things that are happening. Dr. Cheng Ruan, down in Houston is doing a great job with his outcomes. I would say that the evidence base is growing, but the first thing is really like the evidence base isn't quite there for an insurer to say, "Okay, we want to bet on this."

The other thing is that everyone's doing it differently. Integrated medicine in one city or one doctor can be very different people focus on different things. I think that's part of the reason why even though, obviously if you're a practitioner like yourself who's doing it you've seen so many great outcomes in your patients. You see the elegance of the solution where someone just gets better and doesn't need medication.

And often a lot of these things are really low cost interventions like more time with a doctor or changing changing behaviors or supplements these are things that don't cost a lot of money. It can be perplexing from sort of an intuitive point of view where you think that things that keep people healthy should be covered.

But also it also just speaks to the history of insurance where insurance was for taking care of catastrophic things. And when you do functional medicine you're sort of taking personal responsibility and that's not really in the paradigm. It's a mixture of data, resistance from medical systems, and just sort of not fitting within the disease management paradigm.

Andrea Wien: This episode is brought to you by that's A new website featuring the research and articles of Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum. Dr. Ghannoum is one of the world's leading microbiome researchers and the scientists who named the microbiome, our bodies fungal community.

For the last 40 years, he's led teams of scientists exploring the microbiome and is now making his data available to the general public. Head to to download his 10 simple tips to healing the microbiome and stay up to date on the latest published research from his team. Now, back to the show.

What I don't mean to sound critical or if you've mentioned it doesn't cost a lot of money for a lot of these interventions. And I think a lot of the insurance companies and even doctors who are involved with insurance companies are hoping that things cost a lot of money because then that's filtering down into their pockets.

James Maskell: Yeah. But you know also taking insurance is a double edged sword. A lot of doctors, family medicine doctors, and primary care doctors who do take insurance and have taken insurance I've come to functional medicine because they don't have to take insurance. Because being on the other side of the insurance game is not that funny either being a practitioner or a doctor where you take insurance.

Insurance companies can give you money and then suddenly take it back without warning. Companies is going to refuse to pay. The insurance companies can pay you three to six months later, that's just like a standard practice. Think about being an entrepreneur under those circumstances that's why many doctors are leaving insurance altogether, because if you think it's bad for patients, it's bad for doctors too. And what I realized is I'm not going to going to convince doctors who have spent the last 10 years getting off insurance to come back on insurance.

And that's one of the things that played into this cost sharing model was that it's all built on the cash economy. And it dovetailed very nicely with the provider network that we've been helping to build for the last five or 10 years.

Andrea Wien: And I don't think a lot of people know that they can go into their doctor's office or hospital and ask for a cash price versus an insurance price. That's something that certainly didn't occur to me until I started getting more involved in this community. And I venture to guess that the majority of Americans don't even know that's a possibility?

James Maskell: Well, that's part of the scam. People don't know that there's all this reference range of pricing where you can see all the different prices for all the different things. And you could go and do that. You could be a champion for yourself. One of the things that we worked into Knew Health as part of the model is that we have someone on our team whose full time job it is to negotiate these kinds of things with hospitals, because they know what things cost.

And we partnered with a company that has enough experience doing this and they'd be doing it for 30 years for the Christian ministries that the phrase I like to use Andrea's friends don't let friends pay retail for medicine.

Andrea Wien: I like that. When I heard you speak a while back, you talked about this kind of multi-pronged strategy that you've put in place to really take health care and transform it. And you've already mentioned the power of community and talking about that, can you talk a little bit more about what the other prongs look like and how this works in practice?

James Maskell: Yeah. Ultimately, I see functional medicine will be delivered in all parts of healthcare has to be. It has to be the operating system for the future of chronic disease management. I can't see another way around it. For these complex chronic illnesses like addiction, digestive disorders, auto immunity, brain disorders, like you need a full body approach. You need to look at the determinants of health. You need to have the patient be a participant in their care.

I can't see any way around that happening and that's going to have to happen all the way through the system. And we're starting to see a little bit of adoption by employers to functional medicine. We're starting to see a little bit of adoption and things like the Cleveland Clinic, which will grow the capacity, but that'll probably be slow.

I think functional medicine has to be the operating system of care. I think we can do a lot with community and group visits and that kind of stuff on the care delivery side. But we really feel that the best way to deliver access to these kinds of ideas to most people is to mess with the insurance system because ultimately that's where we see that most people get stuck and particularly young people. They don't know any better. They just come into the system, they have their insurance and they just kind of do what the system tells them to do.

And ultimately, I don't know if you saw recently, but there was a whole thing that came out that's showing that the health of millennials, millennials are the least healthy generation ever. And their health peaks at 27 and starts going downhill pretty rapidly. The young people are meant to support the health of the old people in a system in terms of costs.

We have a big problem unless we can really get a lot of people healthy and get them engaged into their health. And we chose the people that buy their own insurance as the first port of call. And Knew Health sort of provides reassurance, cost sharing for if you have an incident. If you have an injury or an illness or you get diagnosed with something new, and that ultimately that opens up significant wallet share for you to invest in everything else that's health creating, whether it be a gym membership, whether it be probiotics, whether it be eating healthy food or otherwise.

And we wanted to provide the reassurance that we've got your back, the community has your back if you have an issue. But ultimately, we're all part of the religion of health. And we all take care of our own health. And then as this thing grows, we're going to have so many ways for members to really take care of each other and kind of community settings too.

Andrea Wien: When you are doing some of these cost differences between your members now and Knew Health and traditional insurance, what are some ballpark numbers that people are saving on their insurance on a monthly basis?

James Maskell: It's typically between anywhere between 30 and 70%. For a single person it can be 30 is typical. But for family, for me back in 2013 rather than 15, 1600 it was for insurance. It was 449 a month. That's more like 70%. And we have seen numbers as high as 80% depending on where people live and what their income rate is and that kind of stuff.

But the average cost for a family for health insurance in 2019 is $2,400 a month, $28,000 a year. That's the average. I know people who pay more than $3,000 a month for health insurance. And ultimately, by opening up a significant amount of wallet share you can invest in all the things that you value.

Andrea Wien: Okay, great. That's very impressive. And I know that you have a calculator on your site that people can go and check out and see kind of their average cost of what it might look like for them on a month to month basis.

James Maskell: Yeah, absolutely. You can go onto the calculator and you can choose. First of all, our costs are based on historical claims. You get a lower rate if you're younger, 20 to 29, 30 to 39 in that way, you pick your age there. Then whether you're a single parent, whether you're a single person, whether you're a couple or your family, and then we have three unshared amount choices.

You can either choose that 500 will be the most that you ever pay out of pocket for a single incident or 1500 or 5,000. Obviously, the higher that number is the less your monthly share amount is. We've created something that reflects, we think is a fair for the community. And ultimately, we're super excited to welcome people.

And ultimately, if you have a healthy gut, if you've been taking your BIOHM products religiously for that and you already take care of your gut. You're pretty much right now if you're buying health insurance for yourself and you're taking care of your healthy gut, you've invested in a prepaid drug plan that you're really unlikely to use. That's the best way that I can say it.

Health insurance today is a prepaid drug plan. If you have a healthy gut your chances of needing medication go down significantly. And therefore, what we recommend is to just spend the money that you need to on taking care of the downside risk and keep doing what you're doing. Because ultimately, you want to stay clear of the health system. You want to stay clear of the disease system, should I say. You want to be in the health system it's just that health system isn't really a system yet. It's just people doing healthy behaviors by themselves or in groups.

Andrea Wien: Yeah. This is certainly something that my husband and I we're on a health insurance plan now, very interested in Knew Health, but we never hit our deductible. Every year we're paying extremely high deductibles and we never ever hit it. And then we're also pregnant and considering home birth and to then have to pay out of pocket for that it just adds insult to injury.

I can see a lot of people listening to this and thinking, wow, this sounds amazing. Is there a group of people or population that this isn't a good fit for?

James Maskell: Yeah. If you have a very costly chronic disease right now, then it's not a great fit. Part of we're a startup, we're a new company, but there's only limited amount of what we can do right now. But in order to be fair to the community, we have a structure whereby we will share the costs of preexisting conditions, but just not in year one.

If you're on Humira right now that costs 50 grand a year or $5,000 a month, and your health insurance premium is a thousand dollars a month. It's probably not a good fit because we're not going to cover Humira in year one. If you've had an auto immune disease and you've got off it, you got off all your medication, and then you have a flare in year two or year three, we'll cover it up to 25,000 in year two, 50,000 in year three, and then unlimited in year four and beyond.

People who have very expensive care right now, it's probably not a good fit for. Ultimately, we can't take anyone over 65 because Medicare is the default payer. And you can't really do things with cash over 65. And then for most people in America who get their health insurance through their company, you can't have Knew Health at this point either, but there is a huge segment of the market and growing segment who doesn't get their insurance through their employer.

And we're excited because if you look at the numbers, you'll see that it's about 35% of the country right now, but it could be as high as 55 in the next 10 years.

Andrea Wien: Okay. Great. Well, thank you so much for coming on to talk to us. I know people a lot of the times we talk about functional practitioners on the show. Do you have any tips for how people can find a functional medicine practitioner in their area?

James Maskell: Yeah. I want to give actually my strategy interacting with functional medicine in the most efficient and cheapest way possible because I get this question all the time. I think I probably get the question, "Hey, who should I see in Wisconsin," more than anyone else just because I did that bus tour. And we ran the Functional Forum. We have meetup groups across the country.

My first recommendation is content. Listen to this podcast. I'm sure there's lots of great tips that you can just take on for free start to implement it by yourself. You can start to measure your own health. Another big thing that we do at Knew Health is we have access to super low cost labs. That's actually probably the area where the scam is the biggest in terms of it's the same lab company doing the same test. Why am I paying $732 for homocysteine test that would cost $15 if I went to the lab directly?

That's a big area. I think content is the first C. The second is community. If you can find a healthy community or you can start a healthy community in your area, that's the next big thing. One of the cool things that we saw on the new tool, when I got in a bus with my family and drove around the country. We had a group of practitioners in Seattle who joined as a group. They all join Knew Health together and once a week now they do healthy community batch cooking.

They get together once a week and they cook big batches of healthy meals and they split them up amongst the families and that saves money for them. And they're keeping their community healthy. C, community I think is the second one. The third one is coaching. Ultimately, most people who seek out functional medicine probably don't need to do all of the innovative tests.

Because most people just need to really change. A lot of times it's sleep, a lot of times it's stress, those kinds of things. Working with a coach that's the third C is can you find a coach or someone who can really help you to get over those internal blocks? And if you've done the content, if you've read everything, if you're doing it all, if you found a healthy community where you're supported to do these healthy behaviors after all those things you still have a root cause of your issue that you haven't been able to find. Then that's what I recommend finding a functional medicine practitioner. And we hope to have sooner rather than later, a good way to find ones that have been well reviewed by your peers.

But at this moment, the best way to find them probably is to go to the institute for functional medicines practitioner finder. And on there, you can find practitioners that have been through the training or just ask around. There's one functional medicine doctor in every city right now. It's growing really quickly, even towns across America. This is happening more and more places. Ask your friends, just do some searching online and you should be able to find someone that help you get to the root cause of your issue.

Andrea Wien: And that's fantastic. And we will link to all of those things you mentioned on the show notes so people can check that out there. James, thank you so much. If people want to keep in touch with you and hear more about Knew Health and what you're doing, how can they find you? Where can they go?

James Maskell: You can follow us on social at Knew Health. It's easy to find new is with a K. K-N-E-W Knew Health. I'm mrjamesmaskell on Instagram. You can find me on Instagram or Facebook. Really happy to be here. Excited about the mission that you guys are on and see a lot of synergy between all of the communities.

One of the coolest things about this Andrea is just seeing this sort of width and breadth of the sort of coalition that is forming around this. It's people who want to have a healthy gut or choose to have a healthy gut around biome. But you've got paleo people, you've got health coaches, you've got libertarians, you got vegans, you've got conspiracy theorists, all of these people hate the medical system. All of these people want out and they're all choosing to be part of a community where everyone's healthy and we're going to share the costs of people who take care of themselves.

And that's ultimately, I think an incentive structure for the rest of society, where what I can see happening in the next five years is that our thing will continue to be way cheaper. The cost of everything else will continue to be really high and people will now be like, "Well, how do I get into Knew Health?" "Well, you have to get healthy." And then we'll have a whole functional medicine operating system, doctors and structure ready to be able to reverse the chronic illness of the masses.

Andrea Wien: I love it. Thank you so much for all of your passion and for really leading this charge and driving the momentum around this because it's something that's so needed and so many people will benefit. Thank you so much for everything that you're doing as well.

James Maskell: Thank you for having me as part of it. And I appreciate the support.

Andrea Wien: Thanks, James. We'll talk soon. Bye. As always thanks for listening. To check out the new health calculator head to our show notes page and click on podcast for the links. That's B-I-O-H-M This episode of the microbiome report is powered by I'm your host Andrea Wien, and I'll see you right back here in a couple of weeks.


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