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Bombarded with information, SHINE to the Rescue!

This may be how you feel at this time of year if you are eligible for Medicare, already have Medicare, or turning 65 soon. With television advertisements that tell you they have the best plan for you, the extra mail stuffed into your mailbox that falls out of your arms as you try to carry it in, or conversations with friends and family, it all may feel like information overload.

Medicare Open Enrollment began October 15 and runs until December 7. As the clock ticks toward the December 7 deadline, you may be hoping that all of the information will just go away. If you feel confused or overwhelmed with trying to determine what you need to know or what you “should” do during this time, call SHINE. A SHINE counselor is an unbiased resource who does not have anything to sell to you. A SHINE counselor gets excited when they can help you navigate the Medicare options that are most beneficial for you. A SHINE counselor will always try to help you find cost-savings programs while searching for the most cost-effective Medicare plan for you.

SHINE can help you if you are under age 65 and have Medicare, if you are turning 65, or if you have had Medicare for many years. A SHINE counselor would enjoy showing you how you can effectively search online to compare plans every year. How does the saying go? Something like: “We can teach a Medicare beneficiary to fish but we’d rather teach them how to find the best plan!” Well, I’m not sure that’s the saying but that about sums it up.

You have the power to shop around right now to be sure you are not throwing your valuable money on health insurance out the proverbial window. We may not have control over some things in life but we certainly have the opportunity to shop around. Take advantage of the SHINE program in your neighborhood. Please don’t wait until 5 p.m. on December 7. That is the time when SHINE counselors are putting their SHINE tool kits away for a well-deserved holiday celebration.

Call your local Senior Center or Council on Aging, or call 1-800-243-4636 Press 3.

The SHINE Program is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with elder service agencies, social service and community based agencies and Councils on Aging. The program is funded by the Administration for Community Living.