December 2008

Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders

Volunteers are needed for the ABCD SHINE program: Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders. The Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) program is designed to help seniors understand their Medicare bills and related insurance issues.

The SHINE program provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers. Information is disseminated by trained and certified SHINE volunteer counselors who provide information on Medicare A & B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, Medigap, Mass Health, Medicaid and other programs that help pay health care costs for people with limited income and resources.

“It’s such a rewarding experience for our volunteers because they see the results of their assistance right away,” said Emily Shea, Director, ABCD Elder Services. “Their interventions immediately make life better for seniors struggling with these insurance issues.”

Volunteers complete a 12-day training program to learn the ins and outs of the healthcare insurance and compensation system that serves older residents. Upon completion, volunteers will answer telephone calls from seniors who have questions about their health coverage and what plan is right for them.

Interested persons can call Emily Shea at 617 348 6340. This rewarding opportunity is open to everyone – a background in health insurance is not required.

ABCD’s Elder Service program serviced the needs of thousands of low-income, elderly residents of the City of Boston.