(Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders)
State Elder Helpline 1-800-963-5337
Local Elder Helpline 1-800-262-2243
To view a PDF of the Virtual Classes, with registration links, click HERE.
Who We Are
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and your local Area Agency on Aging. Specially trained volunteers can assist you with your Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance questions by providing one-on-one counseling and information. SHINE services are free, unbiased, and confidential.
The SHINE program supports the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ mission by providing free and unbiased health insurance counseling through a dedicated network of volunteers, empowering Florida seniors to make informed health care choices.
o At local partner sites: (Libraries, Senior Centers, Counseling, Presentations, Fairs & Senior Events, etc.)
Community Outreach Events:
o At local partner sites: (Libraries, Senior Centers, Churches, Fairs, and Senior Events, etc.)
New to Medicare?
Who Should Call?
- Anyone 65 years of age or older, and eligible for Medicare
- Anyone under 65, but has ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease); ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and qualifies for Medicare
- Anyone who is deemed disabled and eligible for Medicare
Topics of Discussion
- Medicare Options
- Medigap / Medicare Supplement Plans
- Medicare Advantage Plans
- Prescription Drug Coverage
- Financial Assistance Programs
- Appeals, Claims, and Billing Issues
- Scams, Fraud, and Abuse
- Military and Employer Transition Questions
- Long Term Care Planning
Things to know!
- Contact Social Security Administration to activate parts A & B of Medicare – 800-772-1213 or visit: https://www.ssa.gov/
- Medicare Enrollment Periods
- Initial Enrollment: 3 months prior, the month of, 3 months after your 65th birthday
- Open Enrollment : Annually October 15 – December 7: changes made effective January 1
- General Enrollment: January 1 – March 31; missed initial enrollment period or do not qualify for special enrollment period; effective July 1
- Special Enrollment: Example, move outside of your insurance area; employer insurance termed, etc.
- 5 Star Special Enrollment Plan Change: Once between December 8 and November 30
- Qualified for MSP/LIS” Prescription drug changes once a quarter
- Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment: January 1 – March 31
Questions? Ask a SHINE Volunteer!
- Financial Assistance programs are available and based on an individual or a couple’s monthly income and assets.
- SSA offers Extra Help / Low Income Subsidy (LIS) program
- State of Florida offers Medicare Savings Program (MSP)
- I am continuing to work after I turn 65 years old. Do I need to activate Part A & B with my Medicare?
- What types of services are covered by Medicare?
- What type of preventive services are available under Medicare?
- Who do I call for help when I have an appeal?
- What do I do when I hit the donut hole?
Call for Help! Serving 16 Counties.
Statewide Elder Helpline – 1-800-963-5337
Local Elder Helpline – 1-800-262-2243 – PSA 3; Elder Options
- 3A – Dixie, Gilchrist
- 3B – Marion
- 3C – Lake, Sumter
- 3D – Alachua, Bradford, Union, Putnam
- 3E – Suwanee, Lafayette, Columbia, Hamilton
- 3F – Citrus, Hernando
Trained by the Department of Elder Affairs
- Volunteer up to 20 hours per month
- Learn new skills, meet new people and gain knowledge about Medicare
- Experience the pride of being a part of an award-winning team and personal fulfillment of helping others.