HICAP counselors, available for one-on-one appointments at senior centers, community centers and other locations throughout the county, provide free, impartial counseling to help people understand their options for Medicare and related insurance.
As advocates, HICAP counselors write letters and make phone calls to assist in getting disputed or denied Medicare-related medical bills paid.
In addition, HICAP counselors give public presentations on Medicare, including a free Welcome to Medicare seminar. These are especially useful in helping people decide which choices are best for their individual health care needs. The seminars provide information about how other health insurance, such as employer plans, retirement plans, VA, Tricare for Life, and COBRA coordinate with Medicare.
Topics covered by HICAP counseling include:
• Health care consumer rights.
• Medicare benefits and rights.
• Private Medigap (Medicare supplemental) insurance.
• Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, PFFS (private fee-for-service) health plans (Part C of Medicare).
• Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D of Medicare).
• Long-term care insurance.
• Information about health plan choices and health care rights.
• Financial assistance programs for those with limited means for Part B, the medical coverage premium, and Part D, the prescription drug benefit.
• Advocacy for denial of medical coverage, medical care and problems with payments to providers.
• Referrals for free legal help and representation at Medicare appeals and administrative hearings.
• Other resources available in Contra Costa County.
• Community education, including Welcome to Medicare seminars.
Who should contact HICAP?
• Persons about to turn 65 or otherwise become eligible for Medicare (or those assisting them).
• Persons with a question or problem regarding their Medicare rights.
• Persons who are denied medical services.
• Persons with a problem with a bill or a claim.
• Persons who need information to make an informed decision regarding health plan selection.
• Persons who need to review prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plan options during the fall annual enrollment period.
• Persons with limited incomes who want to find out about eligibility assistance.
HICAP is available for presentations to groups and organizations. Visit www.cchicap.org or call 925-602-4163.