COVID-19 Messaging – Seniors Don’t Know What They Don’t Know About Medicare

I’ve said for years thank goodness for the federal government, they modify, create and revise laws and regulations on a continuous basis.  

You see that now more than ever. 

They spend hundreds of millions of dollars notifying the public of these changes or new laws and regulations. 

Consumers are then driven to find trained professionals to clarify and help them design solutions to the problems these changes identify or create.

Then the salesperson steps on their own message by using the same opening, sales presentation and close as every other salesperson.

They come across just like every other salesperson to the consumer, don’t they? 

During this current crisis how can you sell past the noise occurring in prospects and client’s lives?

How can you find out the things that matter the most with them and open a conversation?

I received a message from Tim, after a recent webinar I did for a call center client –

“Thank you in advance for your time. 

My name is Tim and I work in the marketing department.

I am about a month into my training and I’ve found your webinars quite helpful. 

However, like I mentioned I am relatively new to this industry and sometimes I am not sure if I’m saying the right things to hook people into having a conversation with me. 

Some of the push back I get includes: 

  • I am happy with my current plan and do not want to change anything. 
  • I do not pay for anything and I do not need anything. 
  • I do not want to change my plan because I’ve been going to the same doctor for many years. 
  • I am not 65, I do not need your help. 
  • I am still working and have insurance through work.”

Does this sound like you, someone on your team or is this a theme that is common to your distribution? 

Medicare is not as complicated as everyone thinks, they provide great information for seniors and they communicate often with them.

Believe it or not we can take a lesson from their play book.

I teach the four things seniors are concerned about all the time, managing the cost of:

  1. Doctors
  2. Hospitals
  3. Prescriptions
  4. Recovering at home after a procedure (short term or long-term care) OR

Not leaving a financial burden for their family, leaving a legacy (Final Expense) 

The current COVID-19 crisis has uncovered some additional concerns ALL seniors have about Medicare, right now and these are what your conversations should be about, inform, educate, council, STOP SELLING your product.

Sell the problem they have NOW (the questions that are most on their mind, THEN tell them what their solution is. 

What are those questions they have about Medicare?

COVIDA-19 and What Medicare Does

Coronavirus Test 

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a test to see if you have coronavirus (officially called 2019-novel coronavirus or COVID-19). This test is covered when your doctor or other health care provider orders it.

Your costs in Original Medicare

You usually pay nothing for Medicare-covered clinical diagnostic laboratory tests. 

What it is

Tests done to help your doctor diagnose or rule out a suspected illness or condition.  In some circumstances, a home health nurse, laboratory technician, or an appropriately trained medical assistant may give you this test in your home.

Things to know

Medicare also covers preventive tests and screenings to help prevent, find, or manage a medical problem. 

Clinical laboratory tests 

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers medically necessary clinical diagnostic laboratory services when your doctor or practitioner orders them.

Your costs in Original Medicare

You usually pay nothing for Medicare-approved covered clinical diagnostic laboratory services.

What it is

Laboratory tests include certain blood tests, urinalysis, tests on tissue specimens, and some screening tests. 

Things to know

A laboratory that meets Medicare requirements must provide them.

Virtual Check-ins

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers virtual check-ins (also called “brief communication technology-based services”) with your doctors and certain other practitioners.

Your cost in Original Medicare

You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor or practitioners’ services, and the Part B deductible applies.

What it is

Virtual check-ins allow you to talk to your doctor or certain other practitioners, like nurse practitioners or physician assistants, using a device like your phone, integrated audio/video system, or captured video image without going to the doctor’s office.

Your doctor or other practitioner can respond to you using: 

  • Phone
  • Audio/visit
  • Secure text messages
  • Email
  • Use of a patient portal

Things to know

  • You must talk to your doctor or other practitioner to start these types of visits.
  • The communication must not be related to a medical visit within the past 7 days and must not lead to the medical visit within the next 24 hours (or the soonest appointment available).
  • You must verbally consent to the virtual check-in, and your consent must be documented in your medical record. Beginning January 1, 2020 your doctor may obtain a single consent for a year’s worth of these services.
  • Medicare also covers E-visits and Medicare telehealth.


Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers E-visits with your doctors and certain other practitioners.

Your costs in Original Medicare

You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctors’ services, and the Part B deductible applies.

What it is

E-visits allow you to talk to your doctor using an online patient portal without going to the doctor’s office.

Practitioners who may furnish these services include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Licensed clinical social workers, in specific circumstances
  • Clinical psychologists, in specific circumstances
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech language pathologists
  • Email

Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, some people may be able to get renewed SNF coverage without first having to start a new benefit period. 
  • If you’re not able to be in your home during the COVID-19 pandemic or are otherwise affected by the pandemic, you can get SNF care without a qualifying hospital stay.

Your doctor or other health care provider may recommend you get services more often than Medicare covers. 

Or, they may recommend services that Medicare doesn’t cover. 

If this happens, you may have to pay some or all the costs. 

Ask questions so you understand why your doctor is recommending certain services and whether Medicare will pay for them.

Now how to you start this conversation with prospects?

Advisor: “When you think about how Medicare can help you during this COVID-19 crisis are you more concerned about:

  • Coronavirus Testing
  • E-visits or
  • Virtual Check-ins 

What concerns you the most?”

For more information visit the Center for Disease Control or

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