Guidance on health insurance issues is available through SHINE program

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Trained, unbiased SHINE volunteer counselors help seniors and the disabled, their families and caregivers navigate the often difficult path of health insurance. SHINE counselors provide information and guidance on topics that include Medicare/Medicaid, long-term care insurance, supplemental insurance, prescription drug assistance and Medicare fraud.

SHINE volunteers provide free, unbiased up to date information to help seniors make informed decisions about their health care options. Funded through a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the SHINE program offers confidential health insurance and prescription assistance counseling to Florida seniors at no cost.

SHINE volunteers assist clients in person at counseling sites, or by telephone, and in some cases, home visits for homebound clients. Additionally, SHINE volunteers are able to provide information through community outreach, educational presentations and Medicare enrollment events, and will refer clients to additional local resources through the Elder Helpline. By calling the Florida Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or by visiting online at, the public will learn more about local SHINE events and where to meet with a SHINE volunteer in the local community.

  • Free, unbiased
  • Medicare information and counseling
  • Trained SHINE volunteers

Call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-96ELDER or 1-800-963-5337 and ask for the SHINE program.

Or visit online at and click on your county.

Mission statement: SHINE is committed to providing free and unbiased health insurance counseling through a dedicated network of volunteers, empowering Florida seniors to make informed healthcare choices.


  • I am 65 years of age or older.
  • I am under 65, but I have certain disabilities.
  • I have end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

If so, you are likely eligible for medicare benefits and the shine program can help.

SHINE volunteers provide valuable information to Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives, the disabled, community groups and more.

SHINE volunteers offer counseling on:

  • Medicare Eligibility and Enrollment
  • Medicare Health Plan Choices
  • Medicare coverage issues and appeals
  • Supplemental Policies
  • Long-term Care Options
  • Prescription Assistance
  • Medicaid for dually-eligible
  • Employer or Military Coverage issues


  • You can apply for Medicare three (3) months before your 65th birthday.
  • You can enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration.
  • You may be eligible for Extra Help to pay Part D plan costs if you have limited income and resources.
  • You may access an array of Medicare-covered preventative services, like mammograms, colon cancer screening, diabetes screening, flu shot, glaucoma test, HIV screening, Pap test, prostate cancer screening, smoking cessation counseling, and much more.
  • You can actively prevent Medicare Fraud by learning how to read your Medicare Summary Notice.
  • You can get help understanding your rights and options from a SHINE volunteer counselor.
  • You can find the best supplement and prescription drug plans for your situation by consulting a SHINE volunteer counselor.
  • (also for the Medicare tab)


 Annual Election Period

  • Also known as Part D Prescription Plan Enrollment
  • October 15 thru December 7
  • Coverage begins January 1.
  • During this time beneficiaries may also make changes to Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans for the following year.

Call SHINE at 1-800-96-ELDER to reach a volunteer counselor.