Health Insurance Information and Counseling (HIICAP)
Through seminars, one-on-one counseling sessions, and the Information & Assistance Line; the Department’s HIICAP program provides unbiased information, education, and counseling regarding Medicare (including Part D), New York State EPIC, Long Term Care insurance, and other insurance issues. Trained HIICAP staff and volunteers can help you:
- Compare private insurance plans that will best fit your needs;
- Find ways to help you afford coverage and to fill Medicare’s gaps;
- Understand what the 1% per month penalty for late enrollment means for you;
- Solve issues and problems with your current plan.
If you would like to access a one-on-one counseling session, contact us at (518) 447-7177.
Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug plans released with new premium and
benefit design information for the coming year.
Open Enrollment Period (OEP) begins. Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription
Drug plans begin accepting applications for the upcoming plan year.
Open Enrollment Period officially ends. The last day Medicare Advantage and Part
D Prescription Drug plans are able to accept applications for the coming plan
Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug plans become effective for the new plan
1 - February 14
is the Annual Disenrollment Period (ADP) – a time when Medicare Advantage plans
may be dropped and the policyholder may return only to Original Medicare. Part
Prescription Drug plans may be purchased if a drug plan was originally part of
the Medicare Advantage plan.
Visit www.Medicare.gov to find out what Medicare covers, or to compare health plans including Medigap or find prescription plans for your area to compare plans that match your drug list or you may also find extra help to pay for your coverage.
www.Medicare.gov to find nursing homes, hospitals, dialysis facilities, or even find doctors and specialists in your area.
To speak to a Medicare representative call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Visit: http://www.health.state.ny.us/health_care/epic/ for more information about the New York State Prescription Plan for Seniors (65+). The site will help you understand the program benefits and eligibility. The EPIC application is also available on line. If you have any questions about the program call: 1 (800) 332-3742.
Compare Drug Prices
The New York State Board of Pharmacy publishes an annual list of the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs in the most common quantities. The New York State Department of Health collects retail price information on these drugs from pharmacies that participate in the Medicaid program and from pharmacies that submit their retail price information directly to the Department of Health. This site allows you to search for specific drugs from the most frequently prescribed drug list. https://apps.health.ny.gov/pdpw/SearchDrugs/Home.action
Medicaid and/or Food Stamps
To apply for Medicaid and or food stamps go to: https://mybenefits.ny.gov/mybenefits/begin
Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid Spenddown and Medicaid
Medicare Savings programs can help seniors (individuals/couples) pay for all or for portions of medical costs or Medicare premiums (depending on level of income). For an application www.nyhealth.gov/health_care/medicaid/program/update/savingsprogram/msapp.pdf.
A person may be able to qualify for Medicaid Spenddown if they spend (down) enough of their income on medical bills and qualifying medical expenses. To find out more about current Medicaid income rates visit the NYS Dept of Health Medicaid in New York State and click the link: "How do I know if I qualify for Medicaid?"
Medicaid /Medicaid Spenddown/ Medicare Saving Programs Application Assistance
To receive help with your application from an Albany County DSS Eligibility Examiner (on a first-come, first-served basis) see the list of sites, dates and phone number to call for directions:
- Bethlehem Senior Center—As needed on the 2nd Monday of each month, 10:00am-12noon, RSVP (518) 439-4955
- CHOICES (Ravena-Faith Plaza)—4th Wednesday of each month, 9:00am-2:00pm, (518) 756-8650
- Guilderland Town Hall—3rd Thursday of each month, 9:30-11:30am, (518) 356-1980x 1048
- Colonie Senior Resources—2nd Friday of each month, 1:30-3:30pm, (518) 459-5051
- Albany County Dept of Mental Health—Every other Thursday, 1:00-4:00pm, (518) 447-4555
- City Rescue Mission—1st Tuesday, 10:00am-2:00pm, (518) 449-1305
Under special circumstances, if a senior is incapable of leaving their home (must be homebound) and do not have someone to assist them in completing and submitting an application; call (518) 447-7177 for more information.
An individual may also request an application over the phone by calling (518) 447-7403, and can submit their Medicaid and Food Stamps applications via regular mail without having to meet with a representative from the Department of Social Services.
Other Helpful Websites and Contact Numbers
The Official Health Plan Marketplace for those who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid at NY State of Health website: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or call 1.855.355.5777
The New York State Wide Senior Action Council provides counseling to seniors seeking more information about Medicare Part D prescription coverage with EPIC. Contact 1-800-333-4374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.cms.gov/ - CMS /The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
http://www.ssa.gov/ - Social Security Administration 1 (800) 772-1213 or TTY 1 (800) 325-0778 New York State Department of Health website has important health information topics at: http://www.health.state.ny.us/
Medline http://nihseniorhealth.gov/ website for National Library of Medicine and National Institute on Health, searchable topics covering:diseases, wellness, drugs and supplements, and current health issues.
See the US Health and Human Service website for health info at: www.hhs.gov/
Long-Term Care insurance can help you pay for costs related to a chronic medical condition or disabling injury while protecting your assets. LTC Insurance covers services provided in a nursing home, at home, in assisted living facility, or in other community-based settings. See http://www.nyspltc.org/benefits.htm or to request NYS Partnership for Long Term care brochures and information call (518) 447-7177.
The Empire Justice Center, The Legal Aid Society, and Self Help Community Services' website, http://www.empirejustice.org/about-us/offices/albany.html is designed for consumers, caregivers, and New York State health advocates. The website assists senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, the uninsured, underinsured and other individuals facing medical debt; access to Medicare supplemental benefits, Medicaid, Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus.
Free cancer screenings To be connected to free breast, cervical, colorectal cancer screening, diagnostic, treatment and support services in your community please call the NYS Department of Health’s toll free number 1-866-442-CANCER (1-866-442-2262).
Albany County Mental Health services It is our mission to ensure that persons with mental illness, substance and alcohol problems or developmental disabilities are provided a full range of services that promote stabilization, rehabilitation and recovery Call: (518) 447-4555, http://www.albanycounty.com/Government/Departments/DepartmentofMentalHealth.aspx
Mental Health Services for adults over 55 include interdisciplinary team that assists with medication therapy, supportive counseling, referrals for services and group therapy. Albany County Community Support Center, Senior Support Team Contact Intake coordinator at 436-4462.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services for Seniors and their families. Senior Hope is a treatment clinic for people 50 years and older struggling with alcohol, drug and prescription drug abuse. It offers non-intensive outpatient clinic providing: evaluation, assessment, case management, counseling and support. Call 518-489-7777 for more information.
Hearing Loss Association of Albany (HLAA) is a resource for the needs of persons with hearing impairment including technological advancements and ways to coping with special problems. For more information email email@example.com or call (518) 525-1375
People with Visual Impairments can find assistance, information and referrals from the Northeast Association for the Blind at (518) 463-1211 or see their website at: www.naba-vision.org
Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability. Services are free. For further information, please call 1-800-532-5274 or visit the Foundation's website at www.patientadvocate.org.