September 15th, 2020
Throughout human history, there have been several pandemics: diseases such as smallpox, tuberculosis, and Spanish flu. The current pandemic, Covid-19, brings with it a list of concerns and the need to conduct business in a different manner than the ‘norm’ for agents. With the annual enrollment period (AEP) on the horizon, it’s time to start preparing for a unique Medicare enrollment season.
I came across some information on a study that DEFT Research conducted on Covid-19 and Its Impact on Medicare Consumers, and I thought I would share some
Health Marketing Manager
of their findings with you.
Seniors are Felling Fearful
Here are some stats for you to consider; seniors account for 79% of Covid-19 deaths while only representing 16% of the U.S. population. This is why so many seniors are fearful of Covid-19, and regardless of how you may feel about it, seniors have a reason to be cautious and anxious about contracting this virus.
DEFT’s research found that 87% of seniors are concerned about becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, and that 83% of seniors believe that the average person is not taking the virus seriously enough.
Seniors Prefer Phone Calls
For as long as social distancing recommendations stay in place, DEFT research has found that the majority of seniors would prefer to communicate with their agent over the phone (61.3%), followed by email (14.6%), in-person appointments (12%), and using a video chat service like Zoom (9%).
It’s important to understand the senior’s point of view, regardless of your own personal stance on the coronavirus pandemic. Please remember that we are here to serve our senior clients, and if they’re concerned and fearful, we need to cater to those feelings.
Since the overwhelming majority of clients want to do business over the phone, I think we need to be prepared. That includes getting familiar and comfortable with e-Applications. We can’t hide from it anymore.
Take Precautions for In-Person Appointments
I think more seniors are getting accustomed to video services like Zoom. So if that’s something you’re interested in, check out our Zoom tutorial. If you do meet in-person with your clients, take every precaution, including wearing a face mask, staying 6 feet apart, and maybe even wearing gloves. At the very least, ask your client beforehand if what would make them feel comfortable. Even if you think face masks are pointless, it’s our job to make our senior clients feel welcome and protected.
If there’s anything we can do to help you get ready for AEP, please let us know. Also, check out our Medicare Toolbox, you will find a lot of great information on the various e-application platforms provided by our carriers. For more information about Covid-19 and ways to protect your clients, visit the Center for Disease Control Website.
Good luck with this AEP season!
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