What is SHINE?
The SHINE program is a grant funded by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide free and unbiased information to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers through a network of volunteer counselors. SHINE Volunteers provide counseling about Medicare, Medicaid and prescription assistance.
How do volunteers help?
Mary is going to retire and she wanted to know how the insurance from her employer works with Medicare. She visited a SHINE site at the Baptist Hospital Health Resource Center and met for an hour with a SHINE Counselor who explained how Medicare works with her current insurance and what her choices were. She decided to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan that included Part D drug coverage.
Octavio was in the hospital and an ambulance took him from the hospital to a rehabilitation center. He got well and went home. He received a bill from the ambulance company and thought Medicare should pay. He called 1-800-96-Elder and was connected with SHINE Volunteer Walter. Walter helped Octavio do an appeal to Medicare to get the billing straightened out.
Jim arrived at his pharmacy and was told that his prescription drugs would cost $120 instead of the $36 he normally paid. His pharmacist called SHINE and put Jim on the phone with SHINE Volunteer Carol, who did an application for Jim for a government program called Extra Help Low Income Subsidy which lowered the cost of his prescription drugs.
Blanca knows that between October 15th and December 7th is the time of year she should review her Medicare choices for the coming year. Blanca attends a senior activity center. She heard a presentation at the senior center by SHINE Volunteer Belen about Medicare. Blanca asked Belen to do a comparison of the Medicare Prescription Drug plan costs for her particular prescription drugs for 2013.
To find out more about the SHINE program, upcoming outreach events and SHINE Counseling sites, click on www.floridashine.org.