Press Releases

The City Provides Medicare Open Enrollment Assistance

NEW YORK (Oct. 23, 2019) – During the Medicare open enrollment period, from October 15 – December 7, the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) reminds older New Yorkers that its Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP) provides free and impartial advice when evaluating Medicare coverage options. HIICAP counselors are experts in Medicare parts A (Hospital), B (Medical), C (Medicare Advantage), D (Prescription Drug), Medigap insurance, and more.

Most Medicare beneficiaries can only make changes to their Medicare health and drug plans during the open enrollment period. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommends to annually review Medicare coverage plans, as they are subject to change each year. Benefits of reviewing coverage plans may include lowered out-of-pocket costs, additional benefits, and more.

A HIICAP counselor consults a caller over the phone
A HIICAP counselor consults a caller over the phone

"I urge older New Yorkers to review their existing Medicare plans," said DFTA Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. "Plans change and your needs change. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by calling our HIICAP counselor."

If you have received an “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) or “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC), your existing plan may be changing. In these cases, it is especially important to review your plan to make sure that you will receive appropriate coverage in the coming year.

HIICAP also offers free, monthly Medicare orientation sessions for people who are new to Medicare. Anyone turning 65 can enroll in Medicare three months before or after their birthday. The next class will be held at Mount Sinai Downtown (10 Union Square East, Friedman Conference Center, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003) on November 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

Register for the orientation session by calling (212) 420 – 4247. For more information about Medicare or help selecting the right plan, call 311 and ask for "HIICAP" to be connected with an expert counselor.

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The New York City Department for the Aging works to eliminate ageism and ensure the dignity and quality of life of New York City’s diverse 1.6 million older adults. DFTA also works to support caregivers through service, advocacy, and education. DFTA is the largest area agency on aging in the U.S.

Media contacts:
Zenovia Earle

Suzanne Myklebust