Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed everything, including how you can learn about Medicare or get your questions answered. As the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period approaches (October 15 – December 7), you may be wondering what your options are.
Learn about Medicare online
There is a lot to know about Medicare before choosing coverage. First, there are the basics – Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. Next, understanding your different coverage options (such as Medicare Advantage versus Medicare supplement insurance), and which is the right fit for you. Finally, you’ll need to know when to enroll and how to sign up.
With COVID-19, many communities may forego offering in-person educational meetings about Medicare. Instead, a great place to started is our Medicare Education resource center, which offers paths to key Medicare education topics. You can also check out our YouTube channel if you are a visual learner. You’ll find the information you need to feel confident about your Medicare decisions, in a safe way that also fits your schedule.
Schedule a video chat with a Medicare insurance agent
When you’re ready to shop, talking face-to-face with an agent can provide a sense of clarity and comfort. But because of COVID-19, in-person meetings may not be an option. And even if you’re comfortable meeting in person, you’ll need to wear a mask, which can make conversation difficult for anyone with a hearing disability.
A good alternative is to contact an agent in your area and ask to do a video chat. You can use FaceTime, Zoom or another video tool that allows both parties to safely speak face-to-face, allowing for easier understanding all around. And if you use a video tool that offers screen share, you and your agent can review paperwork and look at plans online together.
Use Medicare plan online shopping tools
Another option during this year’s Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is to use online plan comparison tools. Often, Medicare plan sites will have tools that allow you to save your favorite plans and then compare the benefits and costs side-by-side. Even if online shopping isn’t your first choice, give it a try as a COVID-friendly option this year. You may be surprised at how efficient it can be compared to printing out pages and pages of information and mailing in papers or calling to enroll.
At the end of the day, no matter which option you choose, there are plenty of safe, COVID-friendly alternatives to both learn about Medicare and enroll in a plan.
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