What is the SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders)
The SHINE Program provides free health insurance information, counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers. SHINE is a State Health Insurance Program partially funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
What is a SHINE Counselor?
A SHINE Counselor is trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs to provide information and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries with questions about:
- Medicare Advantage Plans (HMO and PPO)
- Medicare Supplements (Medigap)
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
- Prescription Advantage
- Other Health Insurance Options
SHINE Counseling is free of charge and all information is kept confidential.
Medicare Annual Open Enrollment
The next Medicare Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D drug coverage begins October 15, 2019 and runs through December 7, 2019. Drug Coverage will become effective January 1, 2020.
During this period, Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have coverage can change plans. Beneficiaries who take no action will remain in their current plan, with some exceptions for those who receive the low-income subsidy.
During the month of September, all plans are required to send an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) to their members which includes information about any changes for 2020. It is important to read this material carefully, every person with Medicare can be affected by changes to their drug coverage and /or health plans for 2020 and should review his or her options.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact Karen Noblit, Senior Benefits Coordinator, at the Westfield Council On Aging, (413) 562-6435.