State Health Insurance Assistance Program / California Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program:

The California Department of Aging's Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) provides personalized counseling, community education and outreach events for Medicare beneficiaries. HICAP is the primary local source for accurate and objective information and assistance with Medicare benefits, prescription drug plans and health plans.

California HICAP is part of a national network of State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs (SHIP). SHIP is a Federal grant program that helps States enhance and support a network of local programs, staff, and volunteers. Local programs are charged with directly helping beneficiaries to understand how to use their Medicare benefits including Prescription Drug Plan coverage, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplemental policies, Medicare Savings Programs, and long term care insurance. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) administers the SHIP grant programs nationally.

HICAP provides free community education and unbiased confidential individual counseling statewide. HICAP Counselors are trained to assist you with choosing and/or enrolling in Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Health Plans, filing original Medicare and private insurance claims and/or preparing Medicare appeals. If you are considering purchasing long-term care insurance or Medicare supplement insurance, HICAP Counselors can help you compare policies and explain what services each policy provides. Click on the box for more information.