SHINE offers free Medicare counseling for Open Enrollment

Medicare plans often change, and because of that it’s important to be mindful of Medicare Open Enrollment, even if you’re satisfied with your current coverage.

The open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, and in most cases it’s the only time of year Medicare recipients can change plans and coverage.

Medicare plans are required to send a notice of upcoming changes each year, which can include the following information:

  • Changes in what the plan will cover
  • Which doctors are in-network
  • Rate changes

This information can also be accessed on the Medicare website. By logging on and creating a My Medicare Account, users can see their current coverage and costs, make changes, and compare plans.

Assistance is also available through the SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services.

SHINE counselors provide free Medicare counseling. They are volunteers who have undergone 40 hours of training, with the goal of helping others receive the best coverage.

A limited number of SHINE appointments are available during Open Enrollment. To set up an appointment contact the Aging Information Center at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services at 617-628-2601 or email


About Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older adults in Somerville and Cambridge. For free advice and guidance on questions of aging, caregiving or disability, contact our Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601, email, or visit our website