The Benefits Counseling Team provides free and unbiased help with Medicare. Assistance is available to anyone eligible for Medicare, regardless of age, and their caregivers. The program is sometimes called the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or the Texas Health Information Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP). Benefits Counselors can assist with:
Medicare Parts A and B
Part C Medicare Advantage Plans
Part D Prescription Drug Plans
Medigap Plans/ Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare enrollment periods
Low-income assistance programs
Working past 65
Medicare’s Coordination with Other Benefits (including V.A Benefits, TriCare, CHAMPVA, TRS, FEHB, ERS, COBRA, and Active Employer Coverage)
Long-term care insurance
Monthly Benefits Check-Up Days in Your Community
Receive free and unbiased Medicare help in your community! A certified Benefits Counselor is on location monthly at these sites for in-person assistance*.
*Please note, due to COVID-19 we are temporarily pausing these programs. Help is still available by phone, 1-800-437-7396.
Mamie George Community Center
1111 Collins Rd.
Richmond, TX 77469
1st Tuesday and 2nd Thursday of each month, 10:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m
Gulf Breeze Apartments
1211 21st St.
Galveston, TX 77550
2nd Wednesday of each month, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
El Campo Branch Library
200 W. Church St.
El Campo, TX 77437
3rd Thursday of each month, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
4910 Airport Ave Building A.
Rosenberg TX 77471
Please note that these dates are subject to change based on holidays and inclement weather.
If you would like to host a Benefits Check-Up Day at your community agency or would like us to present on Medicare-related topics at an educational event, please contact us at 1-800-437-7396 and ask to speak to a Benefits Counselor.
Help with Medicare Costs
There are assistance programs to help lower Medicare costs, such as prescription copays, Part B premiums, and more. The Benefits Counseling team helps individuals apply for these assistance programs if they seem eligible. Even if an individual does not qualify for an assistance program, a Benefits Counselor can review current coverage and assist with other resources, such as pharmaceutical assistance programs.
The Benefits Counseling Team also works with legal agencies such as Texas Legal Services Center and the Elder Justice Project to provide some legal assistance services for individuals age 60 and older. Benefits Counselors can provide legal assistance on:
Long-term care Medicaid eligibility
Qualified Income Trust (QIT) assistance
Advance directives (such as durable and medical power of attorney forms) information, assistance, and referrals to local legal aid organizations