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.


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


The SHINE Program

Serving Central Massachusetts

​​​​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

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.

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!

option 3


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.

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


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


Episode 15- August 2016 - Mailings and Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment 2017
October 15 - December 7 


Open enrollment happens one time a year. This is the time of year ALL Medicare beneficiaries should review their health insurance and prescription drug plans. Why should you review your insurance options every year? The plans can change from year to year. 

speak with a certified counselor


​​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

Free Health insurance CounseliNG                           1-800-243-4636

The SHINE Program

60 North Bow Street, Milford, MA 01757, USA             1-800-243-4636, option 3


​​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.


​​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.