SHINE provides FREE unbiased health insurance counseling information and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare, their caregivers and those approaching Medicare eligibility.
Statewide, there are more than 600 certified volunteer counselors trained to assist residents with Medicare.
To find a local counselor in a city or town near you click here or call 1-800-243-4636, option 3.
SHINE is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elders Affairs under a grant from the Administration for Community Living. The SHINE Program partners with Council on Aging, Elder and Disability Service providers and other public and private community-based organizations
All our counselors are trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and are available to speak with Medicare beneficiaries regarding their Medicare coverage options.These options include Medicare parts A & B, Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Coverage (Part D) and Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap). We will also review eligibility for Public Assistance programs such as Prescription Advantage, Extra Help from Social Security, MassHealth and other programs to assist beneficiaries with limited resources to pay for health care costs.
The “Medicare Rights Center” a national nonprofit consumer service organization serving the Medicare Community has provided us with the following information
“Coming Soon to a TV Near You: Drug Prices”
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs, have put a rule in place that will change the look of television ads for prescription medications. Last week, CMS announced that most drugs that are covered by Medicare or Medicaid must soon include pricing information in their TV ads. The prices ads must include are the so-called “list” prices for the medications. In some ways, the list price for a drug is like the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, or MSRP, from car ads. Just as with cars, some consumers do pay the list price. If they are uninsured, for example, they may have no choice but to pay the list price. Or if they have a high deductible, they may be paying the list price until their coverage kicks in. For many other consumers, however, the list price is not particularly informative about what they will ultimately pay for their prescriptions. A drug might have a list price of $800 per month, but cost a Medicare beneficiary $50, while another drug might have a list price of $400 per month, but cost a beneficiary $100. This could confuse people about their access to needed medications, and in the worst-case scenario could frighten some away from the doctor or pharmacy. If you have drug coverage, be aware that the list prices shown in any ad may not apply to you. Take your concerns to your doctor or your pharmacist. This is a good idea any time you are confused about drug pricing, the effects of a drug, or affording your medications. In some cases, there may be less expensive alternatives. At Medicare Rights, we appreciate CMS turning its attention to drug pricing. Many people with Medicare struggle to afford their prescription medications and we receive thousands of calls per year on our helpline about the issue.”
Note from SHINE: Usually the only way a Medicare Beneficiary will pay the list price for a medication is if the Beneficiary is in the deductible period for their Part D Plan or if the Medication is not on the Drug Plans Formulary.
Host Ed Roth of the Central Mass Shine Program speaks with special guests Cindy Philips: SHINE Program State Director and Lucilia Prates: Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Director regarding Healthcare Fraud.
Please send us a message if you have any questions.
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed