Older couple getting insurance advice

Medicare and Health Insurance

Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program

More than 500 trained HIICAP counselors located in local offices for the aging across the state are available to answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage programs (managed care), Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medigap, and other health and long-term care insurance issues. Counseling is also available through the toll-free HIICAP helpline. Callers will be prompted to enter their zip code and will be routed to their local offices for the aging to talk with a trained counselor.

For additional information:

1-800-701-0501 Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm


Medicare provides health insurance for people age 65+, certain people with disabilities, and those in final stages of renal (kidney) disease. The Social Security Administration takes applications for Medicare and provides information regarding eligibility. To avoid penalties, apply during the period from three months before your 65th birthday month through three months after your birthday month.

Additionally, New York State and the federal government help low-income Medicare beneficiaries with out-of-pocket expenses. Contact NY Connects or the Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) to learn about the Medicare Savings Program. New plan choices are announced in October of each year.


For additional information:

2024 Medicare and You Handbook

Visit the Medicare Website


The New York State Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP)


Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm



This program provides medical assistance for people 65 or older, those who are blind, those with a disability who are eligible for SSI, or for those who have too little income and resources to meet their medical needs. Medicaid also pays for long-term care services for people after they “spend down” their assets to qualify for many benefits. For more information, contact NY Connects or your local department of social services.

For additional information:

Information on Medicaid by the New York State Department of Health 



Visit the NY Connects website


Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm

Prescription Plans

Many older New Yorkers take multiple prescriptions. Finding the right prescription drug plan to meet your needs is important for your overall health and for your wallet.

Older adults can schedule free and confidential appointments with highly trained counselors to discuss their prescription drug plan needs.

If you can’t afford the prescription drugs you need, you may be eligible for assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers, nonprofit groups, or state governments.

For additional information:

The Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) at 1-800-701-0501, open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Medicare Quality of Care – Livanta

Livanta is the federal contractor to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are receiving high quality care. They help with Medicare questions, appeals, hospital patients’ rights, billing issues, and complaints.

For additional information:

Visit the Livanta website


Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)

EPIC, administered by the New York State Department of Health, helps many older New Yorkers pay for prescription drugs. It covers those who do not have adequate insurance coverage for prescription drugs and who are not eligible for Medicaid. EPIC is coordinated with Medicare Part D prescription coverage to provide services with additional coverage for prescription medication.

For additional information:

Visit the Epic website


New York State Partnerships for Long-Term Care

The New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care combines private long-term care insurance with Medicaid to help people prepare financially for possible nursing home care, home care or other long-term care services as specified under the policy. It allows New Yorkers to protect assets while remaining eligible for Medicaid extended coverage if their long-term care needs exceed the period covered by their private partnership insurance policy. For an application, contact your local office for the aging.

For additional information:

The NYS Partnership for Long-Term Care Website