facebook twitter youtube

The 2014 Arnie Abrams Award

At the end of the February 2015 SHINE Leadership Meeting, the Department of Elder Affairs was able to celebrate the contributions of more than 526 statewide volunteers.  The Florida Department of Elder Affairs' SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program announced Janet Mills, a Pinellas County volunteer, as the award winner for the Arnie Abrams Volunteer of the Year award.

Janet serves as a SHINE volunteer counselor and Area Coordinator for Pasco and Pinellas counties. She often does additional SHINE duties at the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.  Read More

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.

Our Mission

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.

Request Assistance

Need a Resource? Contact Us.

Find enrollment events in your area.



Program Highlights


SHINE volunteers in Florida provide a network of free, unbiased, reliable, and personalized health benefits information.

 *In Florida, SHINE volunteers help Medicare beneficiaries make choices among a vast array of options that include 20 prescription drug plans, 157 Medicare Advantage plans (including Special Needs Plans), as well as 25 insurance companies that offer 11 types of Medigap supplemental insurance policies in all 67 counties to offer approximately 14,740 plan choices statewide.
*In Florida, SHINE volunteers also provide assistance with Medicare, Medicare Prescription Drug Plan choices, Medigap, Long-Term Care Insurance options, Medicare claims and appeals, billing issues, fraud and abuse, and enrollment into financial assistance programs to assist low-income beneficiaries with the costs associated with Medicare.  
*In Florida, client contacts have increased by 245% since 2010.  In 2015, the Florida SHINE Program had 177,819 client contacts.  Increases have ranged from 5-49% a year.

SHINE volunteers in Florida provide community educational efforts and enrollment events.

*In Florida, SHINE participated in 3,000 enrollment and outreach events to assist Medicare beneficiaries and their families in 2015, reaching approximately 103,000 beneficiaries statewide.

SHINE volunteers in Florida provided assistance to beneficiaries in greatest need, including those with disabilities and those facing language and cultural barriers. 

*42% of SHINE contacts served beneficiaries with incomes below 150% of federal poverty level last year
*17% of SHINE contacts served beneficiaries with disabilities last year.
*7% of SHINE contacts served beneficiaries that speak English as a second language last year.

So what's the value of SHINE?

*In Florida, 538 volunteers gave 76,410 hours to serve beneficiaries through SHIP in 2015.  SHINE volunteers donated time valued over $1,687,132.80 to helping Medicare beneficiaries (volunteer time valued at $22.08 per hour in 2015) in 2015.

How Do I Get Started?

* Contact SHINE to complete a volunteer application at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337)
* Complete an online volunteer application at www.floridashine.org
* Complete our comprehensive Online Orientation at http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/SHINEVolunteerOrientation/story.html
* Join other community members in completing SHINE Training
* Agree to uphold the integrity of the SHINE Program


elder-affairs shiptalk
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11