Health Insurance (SHINE)
Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE)
This program provides free unbiased health insurance information, assistance, and counseling to Medicare beneficiaries of all ages and their caregivers. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs supports the SHINE program in partnership with elder service agencies and Councils on Aging. SHINE is partially funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Mission of SHINE
The SHINE Program ensures that healthcare consumers have a competent, committed, and compassionate consumer-focused network of staff and volunteers who provide accurate and objective information through innovative community programs at the state and local levels.
SHINE counselors are dedicated community volunteers who are trained and certified by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to explain many areas of health insurance including Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), prescription drug programs, MassHealth (Medicaid), and other health care assistance programs. Additionally, SHINE counselors will 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.
SHINE counselors help seniors and all Medicare beneficiaries understand their rights and benefits under Medicare and their other health insurance coverage. Counselors also review present coverage, provide written benefits comparisons, prevent consumers from buying unnecessary or duplicate coverage, and help prepare health benefit claim forms, appeals, and applications.
All information is kept strictly confidential. If you have questions concerning health insurance, Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid, etc., call the Council on Aging office at 781-235-3961 and make an appointment to speak with our SHINE counselor. Appointments are live, in-house.