​​Speak With A Counselor


All our counselors are trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and are available to speak with Medicare beneficiaries regarding their Medicare coverage options.These options include Medicare parts A & B, Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Coverage ​(Part D) and Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap). We will also review eligibility for Public Assistance programs such as Prescription Advantage, Extra Help from Social Security, MassHealth and other programs to assist beneficiaries with limited resources to pay for health care costs.


THIS IS A FREE SERVICE


​​To find a local counselor in Central Massachusetts
​or a city or town near you
click here or call
1-800-243-4636, option 3.​


Conselheiros que falam espanhol e ​Português disponível.


 

MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS OCTOBER 15 AND ENDS ON DECEMBER 7

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late! 
Make a SHINE Appointment Soon!


Every year, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage (HMO, PPO) plans can change their premiums, co-pays, deductibles, formularies (list of drugs covered) and preferred pharmacies.  In the case  of Medicare Advantage  Plans they can also drop providers from their Plan, It’s important to review your options EVERY year to make sure you have the plan that works best for you for next year.  This year we are anticipating that there may be some new plans and  choices for you to make.  Along with these new plans and choices we expect there will be some aggressive marketing with an unusual high volume of plan sponsored meetings.  REMEMBER!! YOU NEED TO BE SURE THAT YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN AND OTHER PROVIDERS ARE COVERED IN THE PLANS NETWORK BEFORE YOU CHANGE TO A DIFFERENT MEDICARE PLAN.  YOU SHOULD ALSO BE SURE YOUR MEDICATIONS ARE COVERED AS WELL.

Assistance is available from the SHINE program. Call your Senior Center and ask for a SHINE appointment. Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare.

MEDICARE UPDATE MEETINGS

We have scheduled 25 Medicare Update Meetings in the Central Massachusetts area.Click here to view scheduled meetings near you.

option 3


speak with a certified counselor

1-800-243-4636


 

The SHINE Program

Serving Central Massachusetts

HEALTH CONNECTOR MEMBERS TRANSITION TO MEDICARE 

People with Health Connector coverage nearing Medicare eligibility face many obligations – to enroll in Medicare in a timely way, to notify their Connector plan about their Medicare eligibility, and to cancel their Connector plan.  Despite these responsibilities, people with Connector plans receive no notice about their Medicare eligibility unless they are auto-enrolled in Medicare because they receive Social Security cash benefits. In addition, Connector enrollees receive no notification that their access to premium tax credits automatically terminates when they become Medicare eligible. 

These notification gaps put people in the Health Connector who are nearing Medicare eligibility at serious risk.  Honest enrollment mistakes can lead to lifetime premium penalties, gaps in coverage, disruptions in access to needed care, tax penalties and recovery, by the IRS resulting from the loss of premium tax credits and delayed Medicare enrollment.  To avoid these consequences, it is imperative that Health Connector members who are eligible for Medicare enroll in Medicare in a timely way, notify their Connector plan about their Medicare eligibility, and cancel their Connector plan. 


As always feel free to contact your local SHINE Regional Office at ​1-800-243-4636 #3 if you have
​any questions.

​​​Volunteer Opportunities
Like to help people? Do you like technical information? Have some spare time? If so you may be the perfect SHINE volunteer.

Free Health insurance CounseliNG                           1-800-243-4636

It’s that time of year again!  If you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO, PPO), you should be receiving information from your plan by the end of September. It is important to understand and save this information because it explains the changes in your plan for 2017. This includes changes to the plan providers, network, and changes to the drug plan formulary that would  let you  know if your medications will continue to be covered and if the tier and cost is changing. This is important information and if you do not understand it, you should discuss it with your caregivers or schedule an appointment with a SHINE Counselor during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.

During the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period (October 15th - December 7th), you will have a chance to CHANGE your plan for next year.  SHINE Counselors can help you understand your plan changes, as well as other options you may have. Call early to get a SHINE appointment during Open Enrollment!

WHO WE ARE


SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) provides FREE unbiased health insurance counseling information and assistanceto Massachusetts residents with Medicare, their caregivers and those approaching Medicare eligibility.


​The region office is located at 60 North Bow Street in Milford, Massachusetts 01757. We provide services to more than over 60 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts. Statewide, there are more than 600 certified volunteer counselors trained to assist residents with Medicare.


​​SHINE is administered by the Massachusetts Office of Executive Affairs under a grant from the Administration for Community Living. The Central Region office partners with Council on Aging, Elder and Disability Service providers and other public and private community-based organizations.

MASSACHUSETTS VETERANS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES


Chapter 115 of the Massachusetts General Laws entitles Massachusetts Veterans and their spouses to reimbursement of their medical expenses if they meet certain income and resources guidelines.  If you are a veteran, widow or widower of a veteran with an income of $1980.00 or less and cash assets of less than $5,000, or if you are a married veteran or married to a veteran, and your combined income is less than $2,670 per month and combined cash assets are less than $9,800, then you may be eligible for these benefits.  This program is an entitlement in recognition of your service and not charity.  You may reimbursed for your Medicare Premium and all your other health insurance expenses.  If you meet these guidelines, contact your local city or town Veteran’s Service Officer and tell them you would like to submit a Chapter 115 application for benefits. 


If you have any questions regarding these benefits call our Regional Office at 508-422-9931.

​​Medicare & More
SHINE has teamed with Milford TV ​to create an on-going series of live television broadcasts discussing Medicare & other topics. You can view episodes of Medicare & More on your local cable channel or ​
click here

The SHINE Program

60 North Bow Street, Milford, MA 01757, USA             1-800-243-4636, option 3          info@shinema.org

DON'T IGNORE YOUR MEDICARE MAIL!

​​​​Medicare y Usted

“Medicare y Usted” es un repaso de los partes de Medicare y como la programa SHINE se puede servirle.


"​Medicare and You” is a short Spanish language review that covers the different parts of Medicare and how the SHINE program can help individuals make educated decisions regarding their health insurance.
​Click here to view the video

SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is funded by the Agency for Community Living and coordinated by the  Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with the Friends of The Milford Senior Center.

Copyright © 2014 Shine  |  All Rights Reserved

Contact Us

Episode 15- August 2016 - Mailings and Open Enrollment