Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Programs

Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Programs


New York State's HIICAP is a statewide network of Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Programs, headquartered at Area Agencies on Aging or their subcontractor non-profit agencies. HIICAP is the state health insurance assistance program (SHIP), which receives federal assistance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the State of New York to educate the public about Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, and other health insurance issues. HIICAP provides free, accurate, and objective information, counseling, assistance, and advocacy on Medicare, private health insurance, and related health coverage plans. HIICAP helps people with Medicare, their representatives, or people soon to be eligible for Medicare. HIICAP also provides information on low income programs such as the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program, Medicare savings programs, "Extra Help" prescription assistance, and pharmacy discount programs. New York State has a number of programs for those with lower incomes that make it easier to afford health care. These programs may pay part of your monthly costs, offer discounts or provide full medical coverage.


HIICAP is available to Medicare beneficiaries and to those residing in our state who will soon become Medicare eligible. New Yorkers can schedule free and confidential appointments with highly trained HIICAP staff and volunteer counselors to discuss:

  • Medicare and health insurance questions about benefits, options, paperwork, and resources.
  • Medicare covered costs, deductibles, and programs.
  • Health care costs that clients will be responsible for.
  • Information on insurance products that may help pay for costs not covered by Medicare alone such as a Medigap or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • How to review and select a Medicare Part D prescription plan.
  • Help in resolving specific health insurance problems.

NYSOFA coordinates HIICAP through its network of 59 area agencies on aging (AAAs),  where almost 500 trained insurance counselors are available to assist beneficiaries. Counselors may be reached by calling 1-800-701-0501. Callers are routed to the county in which they reside for direct assistance from the local HIICAP.


HIICAP counseling services are funded through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State of New York. Many counselors are volunteers who generously devote their time to helping others understand Medicare issues.

Get Help

Call HIICAP at 1-800-701-0501