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Medicare – 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

In the United States, Medicare is a federal government social insurance program that guarantees access to health insurance for certain Americans and legal residents aged 65 and older, and younger people with disabilities, people with end stage renal disease (, 2012) and persons with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The benefits are often divided into certain areas.

  • Hospital insurance (Part A) that helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care and hospice care.

  • Medical insurance (Part B) that helps pay for doctors’ services and many other medical services and supplies that are not covered by hospital insurance.

  • Medicare Advantage (Part C) that allows people with Medicare Parts A and B to choose their health care services through a private company, such as Humana.

  • Prescription drug coverage (Part D) that helps pay for medications.


Every October 15Annual Enrollment Begins:  Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is the one chance most people with Medicare have to make a change in their health and prescription drug plans.

Every December 7 Annual Enrollment Ends:  If you are going to make a change to your current coverage, do so as early as possible to ensure that you can get the prescriptions you need on January 1.

Every January 1 – Medicare Drug and Health Coverage Begins for 2017: Also, the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) is January 1 through February 14 of every year.  During the MADP you can make changes only if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, and those changes go into effect the first day of the following month.

On average, Medicare covers about half (48 percent) of health care costs for members. Members must cover the rest of their medical expenses, which might include uncovered services such as long-term, dental, hearing, and vision care, either out of pocket or through  a Medi-gap plan or supplemental insurance.

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. or 1-800-963-5337

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