Sixty percent of Medicare insurance agents say their income declined over the past month as COVID-19 shut down businesses and forced Americans indoors.
The online poll was conducted by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. Thirty percent of agents said the pandemic has had "no real impact" on their business, while 42.5% said their business income is down 1% to 49%.
Another 17.5% said their income is down 50% or more, while 10% of respondents said their income is up.
Most states have put emergency orders in place limiting movement and meetings that can take place. The restrictions are believed to be seriously hurting agents attempting to sell a variety of products. In Pennsylvania, for example, Gov. Tom Wolf has banned agents from meeting clients in person to sell life insurance.
“While insurance is considered a life-sustaining business, especially during the unprecedented health crisis that we’re experiencing today," said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman, "in-person sales and brokerage are not designated as life-sustaining, and have a detrimental effect on the safety and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.”
Those agents selling health insurance products such as Medicare supplement and long-term care insurance could eventually benefit from a change in attitudes. A Reuters/Ipsos' daily tracking poll show more Americans concerned about health care.
Among all Americans, 29% believe that healthcare is the most important problem facing the country today, up from 17% in early January.
The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance poll asked Medicare agents three additional questions:
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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