What is SHINE?
SHINE is the Massachusetts State Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP). However in Massachusetts, SHINE stands for Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone. It began in 1985 as a pilot program in the Springfield area. The SHINE Program provides free and unbiased health information, counseling, and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries of all ages and their caregivers. The Volunteer SHINE counselors help seniors (and younger disabled Medicare beneficiaries) understand their Medicare benefits and other health insurance options, help fill out the applications and gather the necessary documentation. The SHINE Program ensures that Medicare beneficiaries have access to accurate information regarding healthcare options. The SHINE Program is supported by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with elder service agencies, social services agencies, and the Councils on Aging.
What is a SHINE Counselor?
A community volunteer who is trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in many areas of health benefits. Their knowledge includes Medicare A & B covered services, prescription drug options, Medigap insurance plans, Medicaid Programs, and free or reduced cost health care programs.
Hampden County SHINE
The Hampden County SHINE Program offers services in town or city Senior Centers, Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc., Baystate Medical Center, Holyoke Medical Center, and many senior housing complexes. We have the capacity to serve in Spanish and offer home visits for homebound clients. SHINE also offers educational seminars to those approaching retirement and/or going on Medicare.
To make an appointment with a SHINE Counselor near you, call 1-800-243-4636 to reach your most local Regional SHINE Office or call your local Senior Center.