Kristin Taylor

Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program

Kristin Taylor, a former elementary school teacher, was "getting a little bored in retirement" and researching Medicare options for herself when a friend suggested asking for help from HICAP, or the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program. When she got the information she needed, she realized she could be the one giving it.

That was 12 years ago, and Taylor is still volunteering – and loving the interaction with people who are just like she was. "You get so much in return from the people. It’s very gratifying," she said.

"A man I counseled said, ‘I look at it this way: You’re my friend, and my friend is going to tell me what I need to know so I can make the best choice.’ That was a real eye-opener. Now, every time I meet somebody, I treat them like they’re my friend, and I get paid every day – in thanks and gratitude. It’s wonderful."

Taylor once reviewed prescription drug plans for a couple paying far more in premiums than needed. Within minutes, she provided information that would save them $3,000 a year.

She also takes inquiries from plenty of younger people trying their best to care for aging parents. "When we finish," Taylor said, "I always say, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing for your parents.’ Most of the time they cry, because nobody thanks the caregivers."

Kristin’s experience reflects the positive impact of dedicated services for older adults, going strong in California for 50 years and counting.

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