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- About The SHINE Program
About The SHINE Program
- What is the SHINE Program?
The SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Program provides free health insurance information and counseling to all Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers.
People who have Medicare or who are about to become eligible for Medicare can meet with a certified SHINE counselor to learn about benefits and options available and get guidance with choosing a plan that best fits your needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to Medicare. Factors such as health conditions, lifestyle preferences, and financial resources have varying effects on what plan is the best for each individual.
- What is a SHINE Counselor?
SHINE counselors are trained and certified each year through the Executive Office of Elder Affairs in the various options available to Medicare beneficiaries - including:
- Medicare Parts A and B
- Eligibility and Enrollment
- Medicare Advantage (Part C)
- Medigap Supplements
- Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
- Part B Premium Assistance
- Extra Help (LIS) and Prescription Advantage
- Other programs for people with limited resources that help with paying for health care costs
If you would like to volunteer for the SHINE program, or are interested in recruiting a SHINE Counselor for your site, call your local SHINE Program Director at 800-243-4636; press 3, if calling from a landline or press 5, if calling from cell phone. Or visit the Massachusetts State SHINE Program site.
- How can a SHINE counselor help me?
- SHINE Counselors help Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers navigate the complex health insurance system.
- A SHINE Counselor can explain Medicare options and how Medicare works in everyday language.
- A SHINE Counselor can help compare the costs and benefits of Medicare and other health insurance options and help you enroll in a health insurance program that best fits your needs.
- A SHINE Counselor can help people with limited resources enroll in programs that help pay health insurance costs.
- A SHINE Counselor can help answer some of the following commonly asked questions:
- What does Medicare pay for?
- When should I enroll?
- How do I avoid a late enrollment penalty?
- Which parts of Medicare do I need?
- What is "Medigap" insurance?
- What is a Medicare HMO or Medicare Advantage Plan?
- Is Medicare Advantage right for me?
- Which Part D Plan (PDP) will cover my drugs?
- Can I get help paying for my Medicare costs?
- Do I qualify for MassHealth/Medicaid?
- Why did I receive a bill after seeing my doctor?
- How do I appeal a Medicare denial?
- Why wasn't my drug paid for when I went to the pharmacy?
- Will Medicare pay for my nursing home stay?