The recently concluded Medicare annual enrollment period demonstrated that baby boomers are more and more comfortable researching and purchasing Medicare and other health care services online.

WellPoint-affiliated Medicare plans, for example, which launched their online presence in September, delivered more than 225,000 Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Part D quotes online. Some 20 percent of WellPoint Medicare applications were delivered via electronic sources during the enrollment period.

WellPoint vice president, Krista Bowers, explained the company’s decision to launch their online presence at this point in time. “We knew from our research that [baby boomers] would be more confident with the Internet than their predecessors. However, the extent to which the boomers went online exceeded even our expectations.”

While the company continues to allow customer access through traditional channels, a trend toward online access is clearly taking shape. According to a Pew Research Center study conducted last year, 76 percent of older boomers (those aged 56-64) and 81 percent of younger boomers (those aged 46-55) have experience using the Internet. In total, boomers make up 33 percent of the total Internet using population. And acquiring health-related information is one of their prime reasons for going online.