March 19, 2010 – The Springfield Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE Program of Hampden County reports that the program has saved Hampden County residents $1.5M on their health care plans and prescription drug costs in the past 3 months. Springfield residents specifically saved $467,000. This is welcome news as elders continue to struggle with rising costs on a fixed income. The savings will be announced at the SHINE Counselor Annual Recognition Luncheon on March 22, 2010 at 12:00 p.m., at the Good Life Center in Springfield. Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin will be present along with Mayor Domenic J. Sarno at this event.
The struggling economy, cost of fuel and groceries, and insurance premiums going up have created unprecedented demand for SHINE services as many residents are finding it difficult to keep up. In response, the SHINE program is available to assist in suggesting cost-cutting options for healthcare plans and medication costs.
The SHINE Program of Hampden County provides free health insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare recipients and their caregivers. SHINE stands for Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders. SHINE operates under the direction of Janet Rodriguez Denney, Director of Springfield Department of Elder Affairs and Alicia Germain, Regional Director of the SHINE program. SHINE is staffed by 35 volunteer counselors across Hampden County including 14 providing counseling services in Springfield. SHINE has counselors in local Senior Centers, Greater Springfield Senior Services, and West Mass Elder Care.
Residents seeking additional information can reach the SHINE program by calling (413) 750-2893.