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SilverTech: Your Clients Need You

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The coronavirus pandemic is impacting each person and family in a different way. Seniors are particularly impacted by the social distancing that is recommended for the over 60 population. Staying safe at home is changing how seniors interact with the world, but one thing hasn’t changed; seniors still rely on their agents.

Traditionally, seniors have worked closely with their agents to understand their health and life insurance options. And as Medicare offerings expand each year, it is crucial for seniors to understand the scope of their options so that they can make the right choice for their budgetary and healthcare needs.

(Related: Your Doctor Is Calling. Answer the Phone.)

During the coronavirus pandemic, seniors are unable to have vital in-person connections with their family and friends like they did before and are turning to technology solutions to help them stay in contact. In the same way, seniors are not able to meet with their brokers and agents for their vital consultations in the same way as they did before. As a result, many seniors are turning to technology to provide some clarity on their healthcare options. In fact, 8 in 10 seniors are researching their Medicare options on line.

With so many seniors researching their options independently online, it can lead brokers and agents to wonder whether seniors still need them to provide advice and recommendations? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Seniors are predominantly interested in talking with an agent either in person or over the telephone, so much so that 56% of seniors either sign up for a health plan in person or over the phone.

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Preferring to speak with a broker before making a final decision is understandable because health insurance can be confusing, and a trusted advisor can help resolve any outstanding concerns. By speaking directly with a trusted broker or agent, seniors can confirm their research, ask questions they were not able to resolve, and hear testimonials explaining the experiences of others in their area.

Brokers and agents are knowledgeable of their markets and can quickly and easily help resolve any outstanding concerns. In particular, 4 in 10 seniors are looking for a Medicare plan that accepts their doctor. Local brokers and agents are well versed in their local networks and can ensure that the client’s doctor is in the network.

While it’s important for brokers and agents to know that their clients value their services, how can those needs be met during a pandemic while most seniors are practicing social distancing? The good news is that seniors are becoming more tech savvy by adopting smart phones and tablets and using them for telemedicine appointments and to video chat with their grandchildren. This means that brokers and advisors should be able to contact their clients and have consultations over the phone or via video chat.

The social distancing required to combat the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we all interact. Although seniors are particularly impacted by the pandemic, they are embracing technology solutions to help them continue to interact with the world. While staying safe at home, seniors are relying on their agents and brokers to advise them on their health insurance options; go ahead and give your clients a call — they need you.

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Jan DubauskasJan Dubauskas is vice president and senior counsel at Benefytt.