According to recent data, a couple retiring this year looks to spend an average of $275,000 on healthcare throughout the course of their retirement. Health care costs are rising faster than inflation and the overall economy, with one in five families reporting difficulty paying medical bills.

If you are over the age of 60 and are experiencing financial insecurity from these rising health care costs, SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program that may be able to help.

Through the combined efforts of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and your local Area Agency on Aging, this program was formed to help seniors navigate the complexities of Medicare and Medicaid. SHINE offers free, unbiased and confidential assistance through one-on-one counseling and information sessions with specially trained volunteers.

If you have any questions regarding Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance, SHINE services seeks to empower seniors with the means to make informed health care decisions, such as by providing advice on whether you may qualify for savings and subsidies programs that cut Medicare and Medicaid costs.

To contact SHINE, call 1-800-96-ELDER or 1-800-963-5337.

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