The Department of Human Services’ SHINE program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) received a $25,000 Community Benefits grant from Cape Cod Healthcare to support health insurance counseling and assistance to Barnstable County’s Medicare recipients.  Each year, Cape Cod Healthcare’s (CCHC) Community Benefits Program awards grants to community organizations that address the unmet health needs of financially disadvantaged and underserved populations of Barnstable County.

According to Sheila Curtis, SHINE Regional Program Manager, “This CCHC grant provides needed funding for outreach to the Cape and Islands population groups often underserved because of disability and/or income insecurity. There are over 70,000 people on Medicare in Barnstable County and many of those who seek assistance are often vulnerable frail elders; the majority is females living alone. In addition, each day there are thousands of baby boomers who are turning 65, now eligible for Medicare and need comprehensive assistance with the many health options that are available in MassachusettsLast year, The Cape and Islands SHINE program assisted over 6,900 individuals and all SHINE services are free of charge”.

SHINE counselors are available throughout the region at local councils on aging, Community Health Centers and at the Regional Office. For more information, see attached SHINE Cape & Islands Brochure 2016, email SHINE@barnstablecounty.org, or call 508-375-6762, 508-362-5885 TTY.


The Cape and Islands SHINE program is administered by the Barnstable County Department of Human Services and utilizes a network of 50 highly trained counselors who work 1:1 with seniors, people with disabilities and their families to explain Medicare options, compare the costs and benefits of Medicare and other health insurance options, and enroll individuals in the most beneficial health insurance program.  SHINE is an important local resource that provides Medicare beneficiaries accurate information in order to better understand the complexities of private and public health insurance.