Interview with Brian Johnson, owner of Johnson Medicare Solutions, Inc
Brian is a member of Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce and lives in Tumwater where he run his Medicare Solutions business. He’s been an insurance broker for the past 16 years. TACC President Gabe Toma sat down with Brian this week to learn more about him and his business, that interview is included below.
Brian, please provide us with a summary of your business’ services.
For the past 8 years I been focused exclusively on providing Medicare plans to my clients. We also offer final expense plans or whole life insurance.
Tell us about your company’s mission and values.
My mission is to help people understand the Medicare plans, their functionality and how the plans can be used to protect families. Our values consist in providing people with the best plans available for their situation, this is done in the highest ethical and moral way.
How do you stay engaged with trends that you see in your industry?
All year round we are trained and certified in our field. We keep up with all the changes and we try to find the best way to inform our clients about that.
What’s the big deal with those Medicare/Medicaid commercials on TV?
That’s the most frequent question I get from my clients. The ads started about two years ago and essentially they are bundling all these extra benefits that come with the Medicare Advantage plan, they also combine a couple of topics together from Medicaid and Medicare and make it sound like there are all these new and exciting benefits when ultimately there are no extreme changes going on.
There are some confusions about Medicare and Medicaid. Can you tell us what’s the difference?
These are two separate programs: Medicaid is a state help program that’s purely based on income, low income and no usable assets are required to qualify for this program.
Medicare is a Federal Government Plan that is designed for people 65 years or older or disable people can be om this program as well. This plan is design to cover people in retirement after they drop their employer medical plan.
Do you have any employees working with you?
Yes, I have two employees at the moment, I have an assistant, Jordan, and she’s been with us for the past 5 years. Recently my wife retired after 41 years with WA State and she started to get involved with the company.
What does it take to be a successful employee at your company?
Best asset is good communication with people, senior citizens, being nice, friendly and respectful are the top qualities of a good employee for this kind of job.
How do you achieve a work/life balance?
The fact that my wife is working with me now makes things easier. I have three full months where I work 6 days a week during the enrollment period. The rest of the time is preparation, education and training which gives me more time with my family.
What pieces of advice have you found to be the most helpful since starting your career?
Setting goals and developing a positive mental plan, you need to stop negative thoughts immediately and have the Russel Wilson approach, you will win, you will execute, visualize, rehearse and practice , practice, practice. and Pray a lot!
What makes Tumwater such a great place to do business?
We moved in Tumwater about 8 years ago and we fell in love with this area. We feel safe here, there is a good vibe in this area, great schools and community organizations that I volunteer for. I’m involved with the Tumwater Chamber and keep up with the business trends in the area.
What are the services you use the most (or are looking forward to using) from the TACC?
One of the best benefits of being a member is the networking with other members and business owners, Forums and now the gold sponsorship program where I can make my business visible. We appreciate the recognition and the resources that the chamber are providing to it’s members.
You mentioned that you are active in the local community, what other organizations you volunteer for?
I’m involved with the Salvation Army; they support many people on Medicaid and that’s where we offer our time and resources to help them understand their benefits. I also cook at the Salvation Army, and since cooking is one of my favorite past time, it makes it easy for me to give back while I enjoy what I do.
Another local group I’m involved with for over a year now is Rebuilding Thurston, where recently we helped build a ramp for senior citizen on their house.
Brian, I want to thank you for your time and your involvement with our chamber. Next month you are our speaker at our November Forum and we’re looking forward to your presentation uncovering some of the mysteries of Medicare and Medicaid. – Gabe Toma