Interview with Matthew Bussard – Medicare Expert from Rhode Island

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Matthew Bussard graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 2017 and is the go-to financial service broker for Medicare users across Rhode Island. He volunteers at clinics to help clients enroll in Medicare, alleviate any unnecessary medical expenses, and answer healthcare benefits questions.

He is passionate about making a difference in his clients’ lives. Mr. Bussard understands the importance of proper healthcare, especially among the older population. He works hard to address his clients’ issues as quickly and efficiently as possible and is always available to guide them through the enrollment process.

Matthew, you are a Medicare Expert helping retirees with their Medicare-related questions. What inspired you to choose your field?

I was inspired once I started to work in financial services and realized that medical expenses are the biggest threat to a person’s retirement. Once I saw that I knew there was a giant need for help in that specific field of work.

You focus on clients who are 65+ years old. Are there any differences in communication between your generation and your client’s generation? How do you bridge any gaps?

There can be differences in communication at times. The clients I meet with today going on Medicare for the first time are 40 years older than me. Some clients I have in their 80s are 50+ years older than me. But this is what I do for a living; I am a Medicare Specialist, so as long as the client trusts me and the information I tell them, our relationship will be perfect.

Why do your clients reach out to you?

My clients reach out to me whenever they have a problem they know they cannot solve themselves. I promise all of my clients a 24-hour turnaround if they call and I cannot get back to them right away. Knowing that they’ll have their issue solved within a day really puts their mind at ease.

Why is Medicare enrollment so complicated?

Medicare is complicated because everyone’s situation is different. You have so many friends, family, co-workers, etc., telling you to do this and to do that. In reality, the last thing you want is to either pay more than you need or sign up for the wrong benefits at the wrong time. It’s so easy to do that, which is why working with a broker like me really can make all the difference.

Many changes are happening in the world of Medicare. How do you make sure that you keep your industry knowledge up to date?

We have continuing education requirements we must fulfil every summer. When the time comes to take the courses, it can be a nuisance, but it’s incredibly important to stay up to date on the changes going on in the industry.

Do you have a specific routine that helps you stay organized and achieve your goals?

I do, but my days always bring something new. Somedays, I’ll have 8-9 appointments to handle; some days, I’ll have 1-2. The only consistency with my days is the time I spend in the morning planning.

How do you recharge your batteries after long work hours?

Exercise is great. Maybe there’s a big game on TV or something that night. Sleep is probably the most important thing. Not getting enough sleep really does impact your day in a negative way.

If you could change one thing about Medicare, what would it be?

I would adjust the late enrollment penalties. They stick with you every month until the day you pass, and in my opinion, that’s a bit harsh.

What does the future of Medicare look like, in your opinion?

Hopefully, the future of Medicare brings cheaper plan options with better benefits included. In recent years, trends have been positive for sure. Generic prescription refills used to cost money; now, most plans allow for free refills. Dental plans used to cost extra; now, most plans allow for a free dental benefit. As long as we stay on this path we’re on now, I think things will look even better down the road.