The CDC has warned that older adults and people with heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are at an increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. This means that all of your Medicare clients may have an increased risk, and some are especially vulnerable. You need to help them, but you also need to keep your distance, so you don’t accidentally infect them. Here’s how to serve your clients remotely.
Be a Source of Reliable Information
Now is a good time to check in on your clients and make sure they’re doing well. It’s also a time to deliver crucial updates about testing, insurance coverage, safety tips and telehealth options.
There’s a lot of information going around about COVID-19. Unfortunately, not all of it is reliable. Some people are spreading misinformation that could be dangerous. Other people are selling so-called treatments and cures that haven’t been tested or approved. People may also use offers to get people to click on malware links or share personal information, including Medicare numbers.
Help your clients stay safe and informed by providing reliable information. Medicare and CDC are two very good sources. Medicare has a page on Medicare & Coronavirus, and it’s being updated with new information as it comes in.
Select Your Communication Tools
You have many communication methods to choose from.
Most likely, you already use email, phone calls and/or text messages to communicate with your clients. Keep using these methods compliantly.
You can set up FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts for video conferencing. These are popular, easy-to-use programs, and many people are already familiar with them. Talk to your clients to see if they’ve used any of these programs, or any similar programs, before. Then, interact with them in the program they prefer.
Embrace Electronic Tools
If your clients haven’t already signed up for MyMedicare.gov, this is a good time to do so. Through the site, they can check enrollment and benefits and access electronic resources. They can also sign up to receive electronic Medicare Summary Notices every month. It takes three months to get a paper copy, so this can be much faster!
Encourage your clients to sign up for these resources and walk them through the process if needed. This may help empower them when they’re feeling especially alone and vulnerable.
Electronic tools are also helpful for agents right now. Look for e-enrollment tools from the carriers you’re contracted with and make sure to use all the resources available to you in the PTT Financial agent portal.
Whatever you do, don’t go silent. Clients need to hear from you and to know that you are available to help.