SHINE Program

SHINE logo

The SHINE (Serving the Health Information Needs of Everyone) Program provides health insurance information, assistance, and counseling to Medicare beneficiaries of all ages and others who have questions about insurance and public benefit programs.

SHINE Program staff and a network of certified volunteer counselors provide information about Medicare, Medigap, MassHealth, prescription drug programs, and other health assistance programs. Medicare plans change every year. Review your options…SHINE Can Help!

Counseling and assistance is provided free of charge.

During Medicare Open Enrollment from October 15-December 7, it is important to determine if changes to your Part D Prescription Plan are needed. To prepare for your phone or Zoom appointment with a SHINE Counselor, Click Here to download a printable form.

You can contact your local Senior Center or the HESSCO office to request to speak to a SHINE Counselor (781) 784-4944.  In order to respect social distancing guidelines, all counseling will occur remotely during the 2020 open enrollment period.


To keep them abreast of the latest information, volunteer SHINE counselors receive ongoing training and supervision from HESSCO’s SHINE Program Director.

Do you know about the new MassHealth Buy In Limits?

In July of 2019 Governor Baker signed into the 2020 Budget an expansion on the income and asset limits for the Massachusetts Buy-In Programs (QMB, SLMB, and QI-1). The QMB (or Senior Buy In) Program pays the Medicare beneficiaries’ premiums for Medicare Part A and Part B as well as co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles at doctors, hospitals, etc.  The SLMB and QI-1 programs pay for Medicare Part B premiums. All Buy-In Programs give beneficiaries Full Extra Help through Social Security which greatly lowers Medicare Part D drug premiums and costs by about $4,000 per year on average. There are income and asset eligibility guidelines.

Program Income Limit Asset Limit
SLMB and QI-1 for Individual $1,738 per month $15,720
SLMB and QI-1 for Couple $2,346 per month $23,600
QMB for Individual $1,374 per month $15,720
QMB for Couple $1,852 per month $23,600

Call the HESSCO SHINE program for more information or to discuss your eligibility: 781-784-4944