What is SHINE | Fact Sheet | What is a SHINE Counselor | How can a SHINE counselor help me | Appointments | Events | Common Questions | Publications and Data | News
What is SHINE?
The Barnstable County Department of Human Services administers the regional office for the Cape and Islands SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone).
- Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) provides free health insurance information, counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers.
- SHINE is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with elder service agencies, Councils on Aging, and other public and private community-based organizations.
- SHINE is a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and is partially funded by the Federal Administration for Community Living. The Cape and Islands Regional SHINE program is also funded by Barnstable County.
A SHINE Volunteer Counselor is trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in the various options available to Medicare beneficiaries—including Medicare Parts A & B, Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D), Medigap, Prescription Advantage , MassHealth, and other programs that help people with limited resources pay for health care costs.
- 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 you 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.
SHINE appointments are free, confidential and available throughout the state at local Councils on Aging, senior centers, elder service agencies, hospitals and other community-based agencies.
Contact the Barnstable County Regional SHINE office:
Contact the Massachusetts SHINE office:
1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636) and option 3
Contact your local site:
SHINE Cape & Islands Brochure 2016
- · 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 will cover my drugs?
- · Can I get help paying 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?
Barnstable County Department of Human Services provides critical documents, resources, and related links relating to substance use. For a repository of synthesized local data in original in-house publications and reports, visit the SHINE Publications and Data web page.
April 6, 2017 Patty Watson, Project Specialist, presented a demonstration of the Department’s online resources for behavioral health and public health and wellness to the Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force at the Dennis Police Department. April 13, 2017 Patty Watson,...read more
Cape Cod Healthcare's e-newsletter, Cape Cod Health News, highlighted the importance of enrolling in Medicare and the free services of a SHINE Counselor. Sheila Curtis, SHINE Regional Program Manager, was quoted: "The big issue is the baby boomers who are turning 65...read more