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HICAP of San Mateo County

The Medicare Counseling Program

elderly couple getting counseledThe Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) is a state-sponsored, volunteer-supported program that provides free counseling to people with Medicare about their benefits, rights and options, and other health insurance related questions.

 HICAP provides unbiased information to help you make an informed decision for your individual health care needs. The California Department of Aging (CDA) provides funding and oversight of the program through contracts with local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) offices that administer the local HICAP programs.

HICAP does not sell, endorse, or recommend any specific insurance product.

California Health Advocates website

HICAP counselors are trained to help you understand your Medicare benefits and your supplement options. Whether you are:

  • New to Medicare due to age or disability
  • Still working and covered by employer group health  plan
  • Over 65 years old and planning to retire soon
  • Re-evaluating your insurance coverage and options
  • Recently approved for Medi-Cal or Extra Help

During a counseling session, depending on your insurance needs, HICAP counselors discuss the following topics with you:

  • Original Medicare: Part A & B
  • Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
  • Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policies (Medigap)
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D)
  • Coordination of Benefits with an employer health plan, COBRA, retiree plan and Medi-Cal
  • Long-Term Care Insurance Policies

HICAP counselors prescreen clients for the following programs:

  • “Extra Help” for prescription assistance
  • Medicare Savings Program for Part A and/or Part B premium assistance
  • Medi-Cal

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