Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)

The purpose of HICAP is to provide free unbiased counseling and community education on Medicare A, B, C, & D. HICAP completes comparisons on all products of C & D, retiree/employer Group vs. Medicare. HICAP resolves billing issues, and helps apply for appeals.  HICAP’s speaker bureau gives presentations on Medicare 101, Prevention Services, Long Term Care, on all aspects of Medicare products, and on Medicare changes for the new year. HICAP gives advice regarding healthcare insurance options for those contemplating retirement.

Health Insurance Information and Assistance
Agencies offer assistance with filling out forms, submitting bills, and completing other paperwork necessary for reimbursement.

» Medicare & You 2023 — Official U.S. Government Medicare Handbook (PDF)

Medicare Open Enrollment Appointments

Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15-December 7, 2023

To schedule an appointment with a certified counselor, you must complete the HICAP Comparison-Appointment Request Form. A VCAAA representative will contact you to schedule an appointment once the form is received. Your appointment options are one-stops (in-person), online, telephone, or Zoom.

For additional information or to request a paper HICAP Comparison-Appointment Request Form, e-mail or call VCAAA’s HICAP department at (805) 477-7300 or 1 (800) 434-0222.

Medicare Open Enrollment One-Stops

Between October 16 and December 7, the VCAAA’s HICAP department will host a series of Open Enrollment One-Stops throughout the county. Please see the PDF for dates, times and locations. To schedule an appointment at one of these One-Stops, use the HICAP Comparison-Appointment Request Form.

» Open Enrollment One-Stop Locations (PDF)
» Open Enrollment One-Stop General Information (PDF)

2024 Medicare Changes Presentations

Between October 5-18, the VCAAA’s HICAP department will host a series of Medicare Changes presentations throughout the county. Please see the PDF for dates, times and locations. To reserve your spot at one of these presentations, use the Medicare Changes Presentation RSVP form.

» 2024 Medicare Changes Presentation Locations (PDF)

All Things Medicare & Benefits Enrollment

The VCAAA’s Health Insurance & Advocacy Program (HICAP) has launched a series of seminars focused on all things Medicare and benefits enrollment.

The following in-person community presentations are currently scheduled:
» September 19 – Oxnard – Medicare Information and Q&A
September 21 – Oxnard – Medicare Information and Q&A

By site:
» Palm Vista Senior Center in Oxnard (9/19) — bilingual
» Wilson Senior Center in Oxnard (9/21)


Medicare Fraud Public Service Announcements

Frequently Asked Questions

HICAP, short for Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, is funded through the Older American Act. This service is free. The United States Department of Aging sends funding to the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services. HICAP is a national volunteer Medicare program that gives free and unbiased counseling, and comparisons on all Medicare Health Insurance and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. The HICAP program also resolves Medicare, HMO, and prescription drug complaints for Medicare beneficiaries.

Every year Medicare has its Annual Election Period beginning October 15 through December 7. This is the time all Medicare beneficiaries need to re-evaluate their health plan and prescription drug plan.

Medicare plans change every year, so it is important to reevaluate your plan every year. If you are a low-income subsidiary for Medicare Part D or a Medicare beneficiary, you will have to reevaluate your plan during the open enrollment period. HICAP can help you complete your choice for a plan that is right for you. You want to make sure that you don’t incur more expenses because your plan changes. Be aware that some plans terminate their contract with Medicare.

If you will soon be eligible for Medicare or if you are already a Medicare beneficiary, you can call the HICAP program for a personal appointment to go over all your options on Medicare at 805-477-7310. HICAP services are free and unbiased. We do not sell any products.

Contact Your SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program):
» Click here to visit the California HICAP website, or call 1 (800) 434-0222.

This project is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $4,163,491.00 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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