Swansea Council on Aging

Committed to helping Swansea's seniors

Medicare Open Enrollment Period
October 15 - December 7 (Coverage 1/1/17)

Open Enrollment is your chance to review your current health insurance options and determine if there is something more you can do to take care of your health insurance needs.  SHINE Counselors are available at the Council on Aging to education you on your options so you can make an informed decision.  You may find yourself asking:


What is Medicare Part D?  It's the federal prescription drug plan available to all Medicare beneficiaries. 

Do I need to do anything if I'm already enrolled in a plan?  Even if you are already in enrolled in a plan that has worked well for you this year, your benefits, formulary, co-pays, premiums and deductibles may change each year.  The plan you are enrolled in this year may NOT be the most cost effective plan for you next year.

How can I find out what plan will be best for me?  1)  You may call 1-800-MEDICARE to speak with a representative who will review your plan options after a review of your medications.  2)  You may do a personalized drug search by visiting the www.medicare.gov website.  3)  Contact your Council on Aging to make an appointment with a SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone) Counselor.  They will start by having you make a list of all of your medications.  A screening tool on the medicare website  will be used to do a personalized search of all your medications to see what options would be the most cost effective.

Where can I get more information?  You can call 1-800-MEDICARE.  You can also visit the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov for more information.

I'm still confused.  Where can I get some one-on-one help?  Swansea residents are encourage to call the COA at (508) 676-1831 for an appointment with a SHINE Counsellor.  Other residents may call the SHINE office at 1-800-987-2510.

Prescription Advantage

Prescription Advantage is  a Massachusetts, state-sponsored prescription drug assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities in Massachusetts.  This program offers assistance to Massachusetts residents with high prescription costs.  it provides coverage to individuals who "fall int he donut hole".  For more information about prescription advantage, visit their website BY CLICKING HERE.  

There are two ways to apply for this very important program:

1)  Click here to download a copy of the application that can be completed and mailed at your convenience

2)  Click here to complete and submit your application online

For questions about Prescription Advantage or if you are a Swansea resident in need of assistance, please call the Council on Aging at (508) 676-1831 for an appointment with a SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone) Counselor.

Affordable Care Act

Much media attention is being focusted on the Affordable Care Act and the deadline for people to enroll through the health insurance exchanges (also known as marketplaces).  Medicare beneficiaries should know the following:

  • The health insurance exchanges are for people without health insurance and NOT FOR MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES.
  • Beneficiaries who have Medicare Part A & Part B meet the requirement for health insurance.
  • Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigaps) are not sold in the health insurance exchanges.
  • In most cases, it is illegal to sell health insurance exchange policies to Medicare beneficiaries.  People with Medicare do not need to re-enroll or get new Medicare cards.  Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of Medicare and related health insurance programs.  If you need help sorting through your health insurance options, Swansea residents may call (508) 676-1831 for an appointment with a SHINE Counselor. 

SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone)

Certified SHINE Counselors are available at the Swansea Council on Aging to assist Swansea residents with health insurance concerns.  Appointments are required and can be made by calling (508) 676-1831.