Are You New to Medicare?

Below you will find a video link and tip guide to get you started. Feel free to contact the Regional SHINE office with any questions, or to set up a telephonic appointment.

Our number is 508-375-6762.

Medicare & You: Flu Prevention

A one minute video about how annual flu vaccinations and Medicare is involved in the effort to limit the spread of the annual flu viruses. Watch video HERE.

medicare and you flu prevention

Beware of Misleading Health Insurance Advertisements

SHINE is very aware of advertising that can often be misleading and result in a beneficiary making changes to their health plans that are not the most beneficial. The state SHINE office produced this video to bring awareness to this advertising.

Medicare Open Enrollment During Covid-19

Since early March, the SHINE Program pivoted from providing face-to-face in-person counseling sessions to providing counseling remotely through phone and email. We strive to consistently provide quality one-to-one, personalized counseling through these new avenues while assuring that privacy and confidentiality is maintained. This change is state wide and will be in effect until further notice.

Medicare’s Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Medicare Prescription) Open Enrollment Period begins on October 15th and ends December 7th for 2021 plan choices. The Cape and Islands Regional SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Program will be scheduling telephonic appointments to review the Medicare coverage options for 2021. Starting late September, you can contact your local COA or the Regional SHINE office to schedule a telephonic appointment.

SHINE Counselors are available via telephonic appointments to provide free and unbiased one on one counseling for Medicare beneficiaries, their family members, caregivers and representatives. The Barnstable County Regional SHINE office can be reached at 508-375-6762 or email SHINE@barnstablecounty.org.

CAPE COD COUNCILS ON AGING (COA)

Barnstable Senior Center508-862-4750
Bourne Senior Center508-759-0600 x5300
Brewster Senior Center508-896-2737
Chatham Senior Center508-945-5190
Dennis Senior Center508-385-5067
Eastham Senior Center774-801-3151
Falmouth Senior Center508-540-0196
Harwich Senior Center508-430-7550
Mashpee Senior Center508-539-1440
Orleans Senior Center508-255-6333
* Provincetown Senior Center508-487-7080
Sandwich Senior Center508-888-4737
Truro Senior Center508-487-2462
* Wellfleet Senior Center508-349-2800
Yarmouth Senior Center508-394-7606
* Call Regional Office508-375-6762

About SHINE

The Barnstable County Department of Human Services administers the regional office for the Cape and Islands SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone).

  • 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 Federal Administration for Community Living.  The Cape and Islands Regional SHINE program is also funded by Barnstable County.
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A SHINE Volunteer Counselor is trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in the various options available to Medicare beneficiaries—including Medicare Parts A & B, Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D), Medigap, Prescription Advantage , MassHealth, and other programs that help people with limited resources pay for health care costs.

  • SHINE Counselors help Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers navigate the complex health insurance system.
  • A SHINE Counselor can explain Medicare options and how Medicare works in everyday language.
  • A SHINE Counselor can help you compare the costs and benefits of Medicare and other health insurance options and help you enroll in a health insurance program that best fits your needs.
  • A SHINE Counselor can help people with limited resources enroll in programs that help pay health insurance costs.

SHINE appointments are free, confidential and available throughout the state at local Councils on Aging, senior centers, elder service agencies, hospitals and other community-based agencies.

Contact the Barnstable County Regional SHINE office:
SHINE@barnstablecounty.org
508-375-6762
508-362-5885 TTY

Contact the Massachusetts SHINE office:
SHINE@state.ma.us
1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636) and option 3

Contact your local site:
SHINE Cape & Islands Brochure 2016

Calendar

A direct link to agendas for public meetings will be posted in the calendar event at least 48 hours before the meeting, not including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. G.L. c. 30A, § 20(b).

Common Questions for a SHINE Counselor

  • What does Medicare pay for?
  • When should I enroll?
  • How do I avoid a late enrollment penalty?
  • Which parts of Medicare do I need?
  • What is “Medigap” insurance?
  • What is a Medicare HMO or Medicare Advantage plan?
  • Is Medicare Advantage right for me?
  • Which Part D plan will cover my drugs?
  • Can I get help paying my Medicare costs?
  • Do I qualify for MassHealth/Medicaid?
  • Why did I receive a bill after seeing my doctor?
  • How do I appeal a Medicare denial?
  • Why wasn’t my drug paid for when I went to the pharmacy?
  • Will Medicare pay for my nursing home stay?
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Publications and Data

Barnstable County Department of Human Services provides critical documents, resources, and related links relating to substance use.

Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) provides free health insurance information, counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers.

Related Local Publications and Data

The Official Site for Medicare Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).

United States Social Security Office Social Security is based on a simple concept: While you work, you pay taxes into the Social Security system, and when you retire or become disabled, you, your spouse and your dependent children receive monthly benefits that are based on your reported earnings. Also, your survivors can collect benefits if you die. For more information read A Snapshot (05-10006).

Click below to view the Cape and Islands Regional SHINE Program, July 2021 fact sheet.

Latest News

Attend this Virtual Event Sponsored by the Cape Cod Elder Abuse Coalition on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 21

For the zoom link, registration is required:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82240904411?pwd=OEZrekViY3djQjBicUpyRzNYRWF5Zz09 *Event sponsored by the Cape Cod Elder Abuse Coalition

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Professional Development Series for Health & Human Services Staff

Cape Cod Community College’s (4Cs) Center for Corporate and Professional Education has collaborated with Outer Cape Health Services to help address the need for local, affordable, and accessible professional development […]

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SHINE Open Enrollment – Appointments by Telephone Only

OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR SHINE: October 15, 2020 – December 7, 2020 SHINE Appointments are by TELEPHONE ONLY. We are not conducting in-person appointments at this time. Please CALL the SHINE […]

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SHINE News

The SHINE Program provides FREE unbiased health insurance counseling information and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare. DID YOU KNOW? The Barnstable County SHINE Office is still available for your […]

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SHINE Program: Offering Community Presentations to Explain Medicare

SHINE Program: Medicare Open Enrollment Presentations Medicare’s Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Medicare Prescription) Open Enrollment Period begins on October 15th and ends December 7th for 2020 plan […]

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Attention Medicare Beneficiaries: Sign up on MyMedicare.gov

The SHINE Program encourages Medicare beneficiaries to sign up on www.MyMedicare.gov to take charge of their own health insurance information. They will be able to see doctor’s visits, the list […]

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