photo of Secretary Hartstein speaking to SHINE counselors

Two Great Programs

SHINE Open Enrollment

EOEA Secretary Ann L. Hartstein thanks a group of SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) counselors, attending a Medicare training session in preparation for the 2014 Open Enrollment period beginning on October 15th and concluding on December 7th.

During the eight weeks, new Medicare beneficiaries — people who have just turned 65 and people already on Medicare, but interested in changing plans — will have access to one-on-one free, objective counseling about the Medicare plans available to them. There is no charge for changing health plans during the Open Enrollment period. Last year, SHINE counselors helped 64,000 Massachusetts consumers save nearly $80,000,000. To find a counselor near you, call 1-800-AgeInfo or 1-800-243-4636, or your local council on aging, or go to our SHINE website at: www.mass.gov/elders/healthcare/shine.

Options Counseling

Options Counseling services are available statewide and at no cost to adults with disabilities and people sixty and over who are in need of supportive services such as personal care, household chores, transportation, nutrition and medication management. Trained Options Counselors offer objective information about the array of support services and settings in which people may prefer to live, even if they are currently in a long term care facility and choose to live at home. Consumers may contact Options Counselors at any point in their decision making process for in-person, phone, or e-mail discussions which may occur once or as many times as the consumer needs to make a decision. Options Counseling is available to caregivers as well. You may contact the Options Counseling Program at the the eleven regional Aging and Disabilities Resource Consortia (ADRCs). Please check for the Options Counseling nearest you at: www.mass.gov/elders/service-orgs-advocates/options-counseling/options-counseling-program.html.


photo: Paul Dietl, Chief Human Resource Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts presents signed AEDA document to Ann Harstein, Secretary, Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Massachusetts Registers with AEDA

At Governor Deval Patrick’s direction, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to register with the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), thereby providing all those who work for the Commonwealth with access to information, care and support resources for a loved one with dementia and for family caregivers. At the same time, the Commonwealth became the 100th state employer to join the Alliance. In 2010, recognizing the increasing incidence and impact of Alzheimer’s Disease, Governor Patrick convened a task force to develop a state plan with recommendations, goals and strategies for improving the lives of patients and their families. Among the recommendations, the task force included state participation in the Alliance.

State workers will find the information at www.mass.gov/hrd. The Alzheimer’s Association provides information and resources to everyone at its website: www.alz.org/manh, or call the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at 1-800-Age-Info (1-800-236-4636).