Things sure have changed since January of 2020; first the Pandemic and now Hurricane Ian.  As a health insurance agent I was used to meeting people face-to-face to conduct appointments and complete enrollments.  I remember sitting on my lanai during the shutdown in the Spring of 2020 frantically taking webinars and Zoom meetings to quickly transition from face-to-face to virtual appointments.  I don’t know about you, but I found it challenging!  Now that seems so long ago and today so much of the work I do is being done virtually.  Will it ever 100% take the place of face-to-face interaction?  I hope not.  However, it has taught me that we can use a combination of the two and make the best use of everyone’s time.

I mention this because we are in the process of reaching out to our clientele in the hard-hit areas of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Pine Island.  The State issued an Emergency, and Medicare issued a couple of Special Election Periods giving us more time to help Medicare plan recipients review and make plan changes as necessary.  Not everyone had the time or effort to even think about that during the annual Fall Open Enrollment.  We have spoken to many folks that evacuated and are temporarily living on the East Coast, other states or just in another neighborhood that wasn’t directly impacted.  We are finding that virtual appointments, emails and phone calls have been super helpful when folks can’t get into our office.  The medical profession is also making good use of virtual appointments via your computer, tablet or phone too.  My Mom & I did a virtual appointment on the day before the hurricane because the doctor’s offices had already shut down and the doctor was calling us from her home.  So, if you are still having a hard time with in-person medical visits because you are stuck at home, perhaps supervising home repairs, consider virtual appointments, as they will save you time and sometimes money.  It’s nice that we have both face-to-face and virtual available to us.  Stay safe out there!

Kathy Thousand, Insurance Options Inc., a local insurance agency specializing in Medicare plans…

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