Kwok Tam

Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program

Kwok Tam knows first-hand the joy of volunteering, an important partnership in California’s Aging Network of programs and services enriching the lives of older adults. When Kwok turned 64, a counselor with HICAP, or the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program, helped him navigate the maze of Medicare options at a center for older adults in Orange County. Combining this newfound knowledge with his Chinese language skills, Kwok realized, would give him a unique opportunity to reach an underserved Asian community by becoming a HICAP counselor himself.

Five-plus years later, Kwok now spends about six hours a week guiding speakers of both Mandarin and Cantonese through the complex Medicare system. He gives them straightforward assessments without spin. Knowing that the information he provides can improve the lives of older people is gratifying, he says.

"Some (clients) come with frustration," Kwok says. "You sit down and explain things, and they calm down and say, ‘Oh, OK — now I understand.’ People are very thankful when they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I do feel satisfaction for that."

Kwok’s story demonstrates the positive influence of 50 years of dedicated services, highlighting California’s ongoing commitment to supporting older adults.

Go Back