DEFT Research conducted a study called Deft Research 2020 COVID-19 and Its Impact on Medicare Consumers. Their findings are incredibly useful when thinking about how we want to conduct business during the 2020/2021 AEP.
Seniors Are Understandably Fearful
First and foremost, seniors account for 79% of COVID-19 deaths despite representing only 16% of the U.S. population. There’s a valid fear there – regardless of how you feel about COVID-19, seniors have a reason to be cautious and anxious about getting this virus.
DEFT’s research found that 87% of seniors are concerned about becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, and 83% think average people aren’t taking the virus seriously enough.
That’s 8 out of every 10 clients you see.
Seniors Prefer Phone Appointments
If social distancing recommendations stay in place, DEFT 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 personal stance on the coronavirus pandemic. We are here to service our senior clients, and if they’re concerned and fearful, we need to cater to that.
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 getting accustomed to video services like Zoom, so if that’s something you’re interested in, check out our Zoom tutorial.
Take Precautions for In-Person Appointments
If you do meet in-person with your clients, I think you have to 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 that 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, you know where to find us.
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