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Barnstable County SHINE Prepares for Open Enrollment 

September 18, 2023 (Barnstable, MA) – Open Enrollment for Medicare is available from October 15th to December 7th, and during this period, state-certified SHINE counselors are at your service by appointment at your local senior center. They are here to assist you in comprehending your healthcare coverage, assessing cost increases, and keeping you informed about the latest developments in Medicare. 

The time to review your Medicare coverage is now! By September 30th, every Medicare beneficiary will receive an Annual Notice of Coverage containing crucial information regarding Medicare costs and benefits. You can compare your Medicare benefits and health insurance options at no cost with your local SHINE counselor. 

Meeting with a certified SHINE volunteer during open enrollment may reduce your out-of-pocket medical and/or prescription drug costs. Additionally, a SHINE counselor can assist you in identifying public programs that can help with premiums, copayments, and health coverage based on income and assets. 

SHINE appointments fill up quickly during this busy period, so please contact your local senior center to avoid making last-minute decisions or remaining in a plan that no longer suits your needs. Appointments may be conducted in person, over the phone, or virtually. Find a list of your local Senior Center or Council on Aging here or call the County SHINE office at 508-375-6762 to schedule an appointment. 

Plan to have the following information available for your SHINE appointment: 

  1. Medicare A/B card 
  2. Medigap or Medicare Advantage Card 
  3. Prescription Drug Plan Member Card (if you have a Part D plan) 
  4. List of medications and dosages which can be obtained from your local pharmacy. 
  5. If you have created an account with, bring your username and password – this will save time as all medications and dosage information are stored and can be updated. 

For those who prefer to view Medicare plan choices and costs online please visit, then click on find a health and drug plans tab.  

This video will walk you through the steps. 

ABOUT SHINE CAPE COD & ISLANDS: 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 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Barnstable County.  

ABOUT THE BARNSTABLE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES: The mission of the Department of Human Services is to plan, develop, and implement programs that enhance the overall delivery of human services in Barnstable County and promote the health and social well-being of County residents through regional efforts that improve coordination of services. For more information, visit us at 

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD: Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offers a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristina Whiton-O’Brien, Program Manager |  | (774) 243-2953