Joe Kirk is a retiree and Medicare Advantage member from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who took advantage of the telehealth services his health plan offered for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis brought sweeping changes for many Americans, including Joe Kirk, a retiree and Medicare Advantage member from Pittsburgh, Penn. In 2020, Joe was quick to embrace the shift to handling many day-to-day activities virtually, including for the first time taking advantage of the telehealth services his health plan offered. He recognized the value it provided to anyone who was uneasy about scheduling an in-office doctor’s visit during COVID-19. 

“I’m far more comfortable with telemedicine now than I was before because the last 18 months allowed me to acclimate to a new way of interacting with people. The anxiety of being indoors in this moment in time is real, so having access to telemedicine will bring a lot of people – especially those who may be most vulnerable – a greater level of comfort. Telemedicine is a good, practical substitute to in-office visits.”

Joe noted that he looks forward to seeing how telehealth evolves in the years ahead to be even more responsive to patient needs, especially in areas of the country with connectivity constraints or for individuals who lack access to advanced video technology. He said he’s hopeful telehealth services will continue to improve its physical exams to help with more patient needs. Joe added that he intends to use telemedicine moving forward even when we’re not in the midst of a pandemic. 

Joe has been a Medicare Advantage member for nearly 5 years and was happy with the seamless transition he experienced when switching health plans. Joe shared that he was able to keep all of the physicians he used previously, which further contributed to a stress-free experience that allowed him to quickly adjust to enjoying retirement with his wife, Jenny. 

“I’ve gotten more educated on what [health] plan makes sense for me, given my age, level of activity and overall health. I also recognize that as I age, the probability of having a health event increases. It’s smart to identify a plan that provides me and my wife with health care coverage assurances like Medicare Advantage.”

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