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Staying Healthy with Telehealth in a Changed World

Telehealth has become a popular way for Medicare members to receive care. 

Getting care via a phone visit with a doctor, an online chat with a pharmacist or even a wellness app on your smartphone can be fast and convenient. But many older adults who have a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan have only scratched the surface of the services they can access outside the clinic. 

Here are some of the virtual offerings available to MA members and tips on how to take advantage of them.

Telehealth and virtual health options

The most common form of telehealth is meeting with your provider virtually, by phone or in a video chat. Many older adults use technology this way to get health care. In 2021, Allina Health | Aetna MA members will continue to be able to access their primary care physicians or urgent care using telehealth.

According to a recent poll by Morning Consult®, more than half of the older adults surveyed said they’re comfortable using telehealth. Among  these, 91 percent said they had a favorable experience, with 78 percent planning to use telehealth again.1 With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, familiarity with virtual care is growing even more. According to a new study by Deft Research, since March 1, 2020, 87 percent of MA members who used telehealth did so with a previously seen doctor. And 42 percent used just the phone, while 52 percent used both video and audio.1

If you’re thinking about using virtual care, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’re a member and unsure about your options, just call the phone number on the back of your member card. 
  • If you’re concerned about privacy, just ask your provider if the virtual care offering is secure and private.

Resources For Living® (RFL) program 

Resources For Living is available to all Allina Health | Aetna Medicare Advantage plan members and their caregivers. With Resources For Living, caring consultants provide personal support for your health journey by helping you find local resources and services. Calls are at no cost to you. You just pay for any services you want to use. 

Members can call Resources For Living to get help with:

  • Grocery delivery, transportation and other services
  • Housekeeping, home maintenance and yard care
  • Senior living options, adult day care and caregiver support

It’s easy to use. Just call Resources For Living at 1-866-370-4842 (TTY: 711).

You can talk with someone Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM in your local time zone. 

Ask a nurse 24/7

Another telehealth tool for all Allina Health | Aetna Medicare members is the Nurse Line. Registered nurses are available around the clock to help members:

  • Decide whether to see their doctors or get urgent care
  • Understand symptoms
  • Manage chronic conditions
  • Learn about treatment options and medical procedures

When you call 1-855-493-7019 (TTY: 711), a nurse will ask for your medical history. Then they can help with important health issues, whether it’s managing a chronic condition or promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

SilverSneakers® fitness benefit

Exercise can improve not only your physical health, but also your mental and emotional well-being. SilverSneakers connects Allina Health | Aetna MA members to programs at local gyms. It also offers a variety of virtual exercise classes like high-intensity dance workouts, yoga and even a “Sit and Get Fit” class. The program also has an active Facebook® following.  

According to an Aetna® internal study, 70 percent of SilverSneakers members who took part in activities said their physical health improved. And they could move more. Another 84 percent reported the program improved their quality of life. And 87 percent felt healthier as a result of using the program.2

We don’t yet know exactly how COVID-19 will affect telehealth and virtual care offerings. Or whether they’ll be permanent fixtures of health plans. But we do know they’re here for now and they offer an easy and convenient way for older adults to access health care.

1King, R. Poll: Medicare Advantage members are taking to telehealth. Fierce Healthcare. May 27, 2020. Accessed November 20, 2020. 

2SilverSneakers Annual Member Survey 2018


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Health benefits and health plans are offered, underwritten or administered by Allina Health and Aetna Insurance Company (Allina Health | Aetna).  Allina Health l Aetna is an affiliate of Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna).  Allina Health | Aetna has sole responsibility for its products and services. Aetna provides certain management services to Allina Health | Aetna. Aetna and MinuteClinic, LLC (which either operates or provides certain management support services to MinuteClinic-branded walk-in clinics) are both within the CVS Health family.

Allina Health | Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by Allina Health and Aetna Insurance Company.

This material is for information only and is not an offer or invitation to contract. Health benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. Providers are independent contractors and not our agents. Provider participation may change without notice. We do not provide care or guarantee access to health services. Not all health services are covered. See plan documents for a complete description of benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability are subject to change and may vary by location. If you are in a plan that requires the selection of a primary care physician and your primary care physician is part of an integrated delivery system or physician group, your primary care physician will generally refer you to specialists and hospitals that are part of the delivery system or physician group. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change.

*Applies only to covered services at MinuteClinic. Members in indemnity plans are not eligible for this benefit. Such members should refer to their benefit plan documents in order to determine coverage and applicable cost share for walk-in clinic benefits and services, as applicable. Visit for age and service restrictions. Eligible members enrolled in qualified high-deductible plans must meet their deductible. However, such services would be subject to negotiated contract rates. Once the deductible has been met, members will be able to access MinuteClinic services at no cost share. Aetna and MinuteClinic, LLC (which either operates or provides certain management support services to MinuteClinic-branded walk-in clinics) are both within the CVS Health family. Aetna is not responsible for services received at MinuteClinic locations. 98point6 and 98point6 physicians are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Allina Health | Aetna or plans administered by Allina Health | Aetna and does not guarantee that a prescription will be written.

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