Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program


(209) 385-7550 or
Toll-free (800) 443-0222


The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) provides free assistance with understanding Medicare and your health insurance options. HICAP offers objective information to help seniors make good decisions about their health care coverage through individual counseling and community education presentations throughout Merced County.


HICAP counseling services are provided by County staff and volunteers registered by the California Department of Aging. HICAP counselors act in good faith to provide their clients with unbiased information about the relative benefits of health insurance policies.


HICAP registered counselors assist Medicare beneficiaries of any age in understanding:
  • Benefits and enrollment 
  • Prescription drug plan coverage
  • Claims notices
  • Medicare Advantage plans
  • Supplemental policies (Medigaps) 
The counselors also:
  • Show how to organize medical bills
  • Explore long-term care options
  • Clarify the rights of a health care consumer
  • Explain Medicare claim denials and assist with Medicare appeals
  • Explain prescription drug options
  • Help recognize and combat Medicare fraud and abuse

Learn More

To get more information, set up a counseling appointment, schedule a presentation, or sign up as a volunteer, please call HICAP at (209) 385-7550 or (800) 434-0222.  For our participants in the Los Banos or surrounding areas, please call (209) 385-7550 to schedule an appointment, as this is the only way to get these services.

SHIP State Health Insurance Assistance Programs
"HICAP is a member of the National State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) network."