Preparing for AEP During a Pandemic
September 15th, 2021
Who would have believed a year later I would be writing again about preparing for AEP during a pandemic? Well, here we are……..again. As the pandemic progresses, we are being faced with new restrictions and CDC/FDA guidelines left and right. (I am not going to get into the details of their guidance but feel free to visit their site.)
Continuing in the same COVID frame of mind, I came across this information awhile back on a study DEFT Research conducted on Covid-19 and Its Impact on Medicare Consumers. I thought I would share some of their findings with you:
Health Marketing Manager
Seniors Are FEARFUL
Here are some stats: 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 COVID (policies, politics, overall health guidelines), seniors have good reason to be cautious about the virus. DEFT’s research found 87% of Seniors are concerned about becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and that 83% of Seniors believe the average person is not taking the virus seriously enough.
Seniors are Preferring Phone Appointments
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.
Remember, we are here to service our Senior clients, and if they’re concerned and fearful, we need to cater to those concerns. 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 that anymore. I also think more Seniors are becoming accustomed to video services like Zoom, so if that’s something you’re interested in, check out the Zoom tutorials.
Take Precautions for In-Person Appointments
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 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 cared for.
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 great information on the various e-application platforms provided by our carriers.
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