Medicare Help (SHINE & SMP)

SHINE – Is Here for You With Free Medicare Advice & More!

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a program of the Department of Elder Affairs and is operated in this area through ElderSource. SHINE offers seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregiver’s free, unbiased counseling on Medicare and health insurance issues.

Shine - Department of Elders Affairs Logo

Medicare Updates for COVID-19

  • Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine.
  • At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19. However, if one becomes available, it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests. Many plans offer additional telehealth benefits beyond the ones described below. Check with your plan about your coverage and costs.
  • Scammers may use the coronavirus national emergency to take advantage of people while they’re distracted. As always, guard your Medicare card like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors, and if someone calls asking for your Medicare Number, hang up!
Group of Shine members

Our goal is to help you find the information and resources you need to make the best decisions possible about your health insurance coverage. Counselors and volunteers are not affiliated with any insurance company and will not attempt to sell you insurance. All counseling records are strictly confidential.

SHINE volunteers can help you with:

  • Enrollment and coverage questions
  • Medicare Parts A, B, and D
  • Supplement and Advantage Plans
  • Plan comparisons
  • Medicare claims
  • Medicare billing issues
  • Complaints and appeals
  • Financial assistance programs to lower Medicare costs
  • Anything Medicare-related
  • Offer educational presentations about SHINE and Medicare issues

SHINE services are free, unbiased and available to:

  • Medicare beneficiaries
  • Caregivers or representatives
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Community groups
  • Faith-based organizations 

Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Medicare Fraud

Senior scams are everywhere. A special program — Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) – assists and empowers Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregiver to present, detect and report healthcare fraud, errors and abuse.

Learn more at smpresource.org.

To report suspected fraud or abuse, call 1(800)963-5337

Office staff talking sat at desk

Become a SHINE Volunteer

You can be part of an amazing team of volunteers that changes the lives of seniors! Many Floridians find the Medicare system to be complicated and daunting. As a SHINE volunteer you will be trained to help individuals make the best decisions for their needs, and save aging and disabled populations millions of dollars!

Many studies have shown the value of volunteering, boosting confidence, improved mental and physical health and developing a stronger sense of purpose. Join our SHINE team!