Riley Arts Foundation

HICAP counselors can help with coverage planning.

The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) assists individuals and families with Medicare problems and other health insurance concerns. Over 400 trained and registered volunteer counselors provide personalized objective information on Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, managed care, long-term care planning, and health insurance. 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.

Who moved my health insurance?

Recent Los Angeles Times articles reported on the new options for insurance coverage under the federal healthcare law. There will be federal premium subsidies for some consumers buying private coverage and in some states an expansion of Medicaid, the joint state-federal program for the poor. Many people who want health insurance are concerned about the cost. Here are three ways individuals seeking health coverage can get help to to afford it: 1) Tax credits: Tax credits are available to help lower the cost of health coverage for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements and do not have affordable health insurance from an employer or a government program that meets minimum coverage requirements. When you enroll in a health plan through Covered California, tax credits can be immediately applied to the insurance premium, which reduces the amount you pay each month. To find out more about tax credits and how the sliding scale works based on your income. 2) Cost-sharing subsidies: Cost-sharing subsidies reduce the out-of-pocket amount of health care expenses an individual or family has to pay. These expenses might include copayments for health care services or other costs you pay when you get services. To find out more about cost-sharing subsidies. 3) Medi-Cal assistance: Starting in 2014, the State of California expanded the Medicaid program (called Medi-Cal in California) to cover people under age 65, including people with disabilities, with income of less than $15,000 for a single individual and $31,180 for a family of four. The coverage is free for those who qualify and part of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Covered California will offer assistance in numerous languages to help you enroll and to provide information about assistance programs and a health plan that best meets your needs.

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Healthcare training and wellness information provided in partnership with H.A.L.O. (Health Advocates for Life Organization)





Important contacts:

California Dept of 
Consumer Services Division
300 South Spring Street
South Tower
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(800) 927-HELP

California Dept of Aging
1300 National Drive
Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95834-1992
(916) 419-7500

Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

California Partnership for 
Long-Term Care
California Dept of 
Health Services
MS 4100
PO Box 997413
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413
(800) CARE-445 (227-3445)