SHINE: Sept. 2023


Barnstable County Regional SHINE office

Are you ready for Medicare Open Enrollment? SHINE can help!

Open enrollment is Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, and state-certified SHINE counselors are available at your local senior center by appointment to help you understand health care coverage, review cost increases, and find out what’s new with Medicare.

The time is now to review your Medicare coverage! By Sept. 30 each Medicare beneficiary receives an Annual Notice of Coverage, which includes important 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. In addition, a SHINE counselor can help you identify public programs that can help with premiums, copayments and health coverage based on income and assets.

SHINE appointments fill up fast during this busy period, so contact your local senior center to avoid making last-minute decisions or staying in a plan that no longer works for you.  Appointments may be in person, on the phone, or virtual.

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.

Helpful telephone numbers and websites: