News From SHINE April 2018


As a result of increases to the Federal Poverty Level, Eligibility Guidelines for Public Benefits Programs in Massachusetts have changed.  MassHealth has increased the income limits for several programs you may be eligible for. The income to be eligible for MassHealth Standard has increased from $1,025 for a single person to $1,032, for a married couple it has gone up to $1,392 from $1,374. For another popular program MassHealth Buy-in (this would pay your Medicare Part B Premium) the eligibility income has gone up to $1,386 from $1,377 for a single person and from $1,847 to $1,872 for a couple.  These increases also apply to Full Extra Help a program from Social Security that helps pay for your medications. You can qualify for Partial Extra Help if your income is below $1,538 for a single person and $2,078 for a married couple. If you feel you may be eligible under these new income guidelines feel free to call SHINE for more information.


The Central MASS SHINE Program is now sponsoring a monthly Cable TV program called SHINE’s MEDICARE AND MORE”, we hope your local cable channel will pick it up.  This program is designed to educate and update MEDICARE beneficiaries and their families on MEDICARE and other programs that can assist you with your health insurance needs.  If you don’t see it on your local cable channel give them call and ask about it.


The Central Mass Region has recently launched its website.  You can visit us on the web at Our site has valuable general information and links to other agencies that can assist you with you insurance needs.


Trained SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone) volunteers can help you!  They offer free, unbiased, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare.  Call your senior center and ask for a SHINE appointment.  You can also call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3.  Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number. A volunteer will call you back.  You can now visit us on the internet at

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