What is SHINE?
SHINE stands for “Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone,” and provides free health insurance information, free counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers. The SHINE program is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with elder service agencies, Councils on Aging and other public and private community-based organizations.
How can I Access SHINE?
A SHINE counselor volunteer is available at Cooley Dickinson by appointment only. Appointments can be schedule by calling the Care management office at 413-582-2248. Other locations can be found by calling 800-243-4636, or by visiting the SHINE website.
SHINE is a State-run program for Medicare recipients. If you have other insurance needs, please contact Hampshire HealthConnect (Cooley Dickinson’s own assistance program).
What is a SHINE Counselor?
A SHINE Counselor is trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in the various options available to Medicare beneficiaries, including Medicare Parts A & B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare prescription drug coverage(Part D), Medigap, Prescription Advantage, MassHealth and other programs that help people with limited resources pay for health care costs.
How can a SHINE Counselor Help Me?
SHINE Counselors help Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers navigate the complex health insurance system. They can explain Medicare options and how Medicare works in plain, everyday language, and can help you compare the costs and benefits of Medicare and other health insurance options, and help you to enroll in a health insurance program that best fits your needs. A SHINE Counselor can also help people with limited resources enroll in programs that help pay health insurance costs. Some specific things SHINE Counselors can assist with are:
- Assist beneficiaries with understanding their health insurance needs
- Provide health insurance information
- Inform beneficiaries of their rights under Medicare
- Conduct individual, face-to-face counseling sessions
- Assist with health insurance applications
- Adhere to the confidentiality guidelines of the program
- Make referrals to appropriate agencies