Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)
Humboldt: (707) 444-3000
434 7th Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Del Norte: (707) 464-7876
1765 Northcrest Drive, Crescent City, CA 95531
Toll Free: 1-800-434-0222
The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) is a state-sponsored, volunteer-supported program that provides free counseling to people with Medicare about their benefits, rights and options. HICAP provides unbiased information to help Medicare beneficiaries make an informed decision about individual health care needs.
HICAP paid and volunteer counselors complete extensive training to help Medicare beneficiaries make informed healthcare decisions through information and assistance provided in free counseling sessions, workshops, and public presentations. Counseling services provide a broad spectrum of information, including:
- Medicare rights, benefits and options
- Assistance in enrolling in Medicare and associated programs
- Understanding and enrolling in assistance programs that help pay Medicare costs
- Guided comparisons of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
- Medicare Advantage plan choices
- Supplementing Medicare such as Medigap plans, employer group health plans, retiree plans, TriCare for Life, VA health benefits
- Assistance with billing or enrollment problems
- Understanding long-term insurance
HICAP does not sell, endorse, or recommend any specific insurance product. The California Department of Aging provides funding and oversight of the program through the Area 1 Agency on Aging who administers the local HICAP program.
HICAP serves current Medicare beneficiaries, adult children and other representatives of Medicare beneficiaries, people who will be eligible for Medicare soon, people younger than 65 who are eligible for Medicare due to a disability, service providers, such as social workers, or other healthcare advocates working with Medicare beneficiaries, and people needing information about long-term care insurance.
“HICAP Counseling services are provided by trained volunteer and paid counselors who are registered by the California Department of Aging and, who are acting in good faith to provide information about health insurance policies and benefits to you, the client. This information shall not be construed to be legal advice, and the Volunteer HICAP Counselor is generally not liable for acts and omissions in providing counseling to recipients of this service.” (Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 9785 (c) (Chapter 869, Statutes of 1990).