Become a HICAP Volunteer
Why is HICAP needed?
Medicare basic and supplemental insurance plans seem and can be very complicated. HICAP provides unbiased information to help clients make the best choices for their individual health care needs. These services are provided by volunteers who are trained to understand Medicare and the many options available to those eligible for Medicare. HICAP volunteers do not make recommendations; they do not tell clients what they think the 'best' Medicare plans might be for their situation; instead, they provide information to allow each client to make their own fully informed decisions so they can select the Medicare options that the client thinks will best fit their needs.
Why are HICAP volunteers needed?
Contra Costa County HICAP needs volunteers who live in Contra Costa County to provide counseling and advocacy services. As a volunteer you'll help seniors and people with disabilities who have questions about Medicare and other health-related polices and issues.
You don't need to have experience with insurance or Medicare. All you need is patience, good listening skills, and the ability to communicate complex information clearly and effectively. HICAP provides training about Medicare and supports you in your work. Our volunteers get the satisfaction of helping people in your community make the best choices for their individual health care needs.
For more information or to volunteer, contact the Contra Costa County HICAP office at 925-602-4163.
What does being a HICAP volunteer involve?
HICAP volunteers counsel seniors and disabled adults to help them understand their consumer rights and evaluate their needs for insurance policies and medical health plans. HICAP services are offered free of charge at Senior Centers and other outreach sites throughout Contra Costa County. In addition to counseling, volunteers have the opportunity to do research on Medicare and other health insurance topics and make community education presentations to local groups.
The benefits you'll receive by being a Medicare Volunteer Counselor are numerous; personal contact, continued learning, problem solving and a chance to make a difference in the lives of those in need.
Tell Me About the Training
Our pre-service training is scheduled periodically and consists of thirty hours of classroom training. This is followed by ten hours of internship observing and working with several experienced volunteers in actual counseling situations. This combination of training and experience is augmented by monthly in-service meetings to update your training with the latest Medicare information.
I'm Interested... what do I do next?
Read the Job Description below; then phone Leah McIntosh, the Contra Costa County HICAP Volunteer Coordinator, at 925-602-4160, or Pam Brown at 925-402-4802 (or firstname.lastname@example.org), Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to further discuss HICAP and to schedule an interview for the next training class.
Volunteer Counselor Job Description
Volunteer Counselor Job Description
Position: Health Insurance Counselor
Goal of the Position:
To provide free health insurance counseling and advocacy services to older and disabled adults by assisting them to understand their insurance coverage and consumer rights and evaluate their needs for insurance policies and health care plans. This counseling is offered at Senior Centers and other outreach sites, or in the home for homebound clients.
Provide counseling and advocacy services related to Medicare, supplemental insurance including HMO’s, long term care issues, and appeals of claim denials. Tasks and other responsibilities include:
- Comparing and evaluating health insurance policies and HMO plans
- Assisting clients in handling problems with health insurance benefits
- Appealing claim denials to appropriate resources when necessary
- Scheduling and performing follow up on cases
- Entering computerized intakes on all client contacts and submitting timely monthly reports to program staff
Tasks volunteers may also perform with additional training include:
- Counseling on long-term care insurance
- Community education presentations to local groups
Minimum 10 hour per month for one year. Hours worked are flexible, but a consistent schedule is required. 30 hours of training and 10 hours of internship are required before becoming a registered counselor. Once registered regular attendance at ongoing monthly ½ day in-service training is also required.
- Concern for the needs of older and disabled adults
- Willingness to deal with complex cases
- Attention to detail
- Willingness to update skills by attending training
- Commitment to counsel on a regular basis
- Comfortable using the computer
Counselor will be assigned to one of the various counseling sites located throughout Contra Costa County. Every effort is made to consider counselor’s needs and preferences in making site assignment.
Benefits for volunteers:
- Personal contact with those who need assistance
- Development of rewarding skills
- Application of problem-solving skills
- Continued learning
HICAP is sponsored by the California Department of Aging and CCC Aging and Adult Services. Rev. 01/2012