Healthcare Quality for Retirees in Florida

What Seniors Need to Know About the Quality of Medical Care in Florida Before Deciding to Retire There

According to Medicare, the quality of retiree healthcare in Florida provided by many of the state’s hospitals, is not what you may expect.

In fact, many hospitals in Florida earned just 1 star out of 5 on Medicare’s rating system.

Florida’s Average Medicare Hospital Rating place the state at 48th out of the 50 US States in quality of care.*

Does this make sense?

I’ve talked with 1000’s of people shopping for a home so they can retire to Florida, yet I can count on one hand how many times I was asked if there was a hospital near the home they were about to buy.

No one ever asked about the quality of health care, probably not realizing how different it can be from where they were moving from.

I guess every one just assumes that they will get top notch medical care everywhere in the US, but this article will show that’s just not the case.

I was a puzzled as to why almost none of these new retirees, who were getting to an age where health problems are more common, made a decision to burn a lot of cash to move 1000+ miles away without ever giving any serious thought to the kind of healthcare they would receive while living in Florida.

Most bought and moved into homes not even even knowing how far they now lived from the nearest emergency room, where it was or what the name of it was.

Being closer to a beach, theme park and restaurants and bars was what they most often asked about.

Do Most Florida Hospitals Have Below Average or Worst, Poor Ratings?

If newly retired seniors had done some research on the overall state of the healthcare system in Florida, they may have had second thoughts about retiring to the state.

To be fair, the poor quality of healthcare in the sunshine state is more widely reported in Florida, than elsewhere in the country.

An article from Florida Today:

An article from the Orlando Sentinel:

When doing research for books or website articles, I use healthcare ratings mainly from the US Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

I also use ratings from Medicare for lists having to do with retirement.

Both agencies collect and report extensive statistics on the quality of healthcare in Florida and all other US states.

Book on Florida

What is the quality of healthcare in Florida?

Florida’s overall health care quality rating has improved over the last few years from about 40th, to the 36th best in 2018.

This means the odds are that medical care quality in the state you are moving from, is better, than what you can expect to receive in Florida.

If you’ve suddenly start having bad chest pains, would you rather be rushed to a hospital emergency room with just a 1 star (poor quality) rating from Medicare, or a 5 star excellent rating?

Most retirees 65 years old or better, will qualify for and use Medicare as their primary health insurance coverage.

As a service for covered retirees, Medicare provides ratings for hospitals and other major healthcare facilities in the United States.

As you might expect, since the overall health care quality in Florida is lower than most other states, there are a lot of hospitals in Florida with below average ratings.

Many Florida hospitals have received Medicare ratings of just 1 star (poor care), yet people are moving to cities where these poorly rated hospitals are located, seeking paradise in retirement. Just don’t get sick?

Learning about the quality of retiree healthcare in Florida is just one of the many important factors wise babyboomers should learn about before deciding to move to Florida.


Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.


*Updated hospital ratings from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ( were made available in January 2020.

Please Note: All of the cities and towns on my Best Places to Retire List are serviced by Hospitals that had above average ratings as of the date the research was done.