Sharon Hollander, Author
Health Insurance and Online Dating

Health Insurance and Online Dating

By Sharon Hollander 

Learn more about Sharon on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor

Shopping for health insurance is a lot like online dating. To get a quote, you must first provide a brief profile, including your age, geographic location and perhaps your income.

Then, you have to find the right health plan. But first, you have to know what you want. And like dating or marriage, you need to have an idea of what you will want or need in the future.

You like long walks on the beach and have a sense of humor? That says you’re like your prescription plan, which urges generic medications.

So what’s my advice?

First, get some help or hire the right marriage broker, which in this case is an insurance broker.  Having the right information on benefits versus costs is necessary when trying to compare plans. See what works best in your budget and lifestyle. Just as you would introduce a potential suitor to your friends and family and ask what they think, ask them for broker referrals.

Next, talk to your doctor. I’m assuming that you have a doctor whom you value and trust, and that you would want a health plan that allows you to continue with the same providers. As a way to control costs, many new health insurance plans have narrowed the pool of providers in their networks. And many plans have cut out-of-network benefits, so this means that you will have to find a new doctor, or face paying with cash to continue with your existing provider.

Once you make the commitment to start a new relationship with an insurance company, understanding and learning what is, and isn’t, covered is important because you can’t cancel or change your plan until the next open enrollment period.

You know the old adage that you get what you pay for? It’s no different in health care. If you want the flexibility to choose providers, and at the same time have the most comprehensive benefits, it will cost you.

It is no wonder that people are confused and feeling overwhelmed by their health insurance options. They have to swallow the bitter pill that health care will cost more, and they might get less.

How do you cope with lowered expectations? Create a list of your deal-breakers versus must- have features. Do you want kids? Will your plan be geographically desirable? Are you looking for long-term stability? Are you just looking to have fun in the moment, and aren’t too concerned about risks 20 years from now?

The same with dating, finding the right health insurance plan takes time. Evaluate your options. Investigate the features and qualities you’re willing to accept. Finally, like dating, I recommend a two-drink maximum to avoid alcohol potentially clouding your judgment. And if you get lucky, maybe the insurance agent or broker you find will be single and cute. You never know.

My interview on KFWB-LA AM 980 Money 101 with Bob McCormick

If you haven't been able to listen to my interview live on Monday June 9th at 10am on AM radio 980 - listen to the podcast at the below link.

News to Report

There have been a lot of changes happening in Health Care. The delay in the implementation of ICD-10 had had the greatest impact on medical practices.  It gives us a reprieve.  As I see it, it is just delayed stress is all. 

If you haven't had a chance to check out my talk show on www. we have had some exciting guests and topics.  Podcasts are live Thursday at noon EST and past shows are available for immediate download.

If you have a suggestion for a future show, or would like to be a guest shoot me an email.

I am honored to be an "Advisor" on and I have been answering questions about Medical Billing issues as well as Health Insurance questions.  Check it out at 

Also I invite you to follow me on twitter at @hollandersharon  I love getting tweets and look forward to all your comments. 


Fighting Medical Bills

Tune in to my radio show at www. to hear guest Marshall Rosenberg discuss how often medical bills contain errors ( mostly hospital bills) and ways patients can fight these bills. If you have no insurance, only catastrophic care or a hugely high deductible,  Did you know that if you qualify for a certain income level, the hospital has to reprice the bill to Medicare rates? I didn't.  Tune in to learn more behind the scenes secrets hospitals and doctors don't want you to know. 

My guest this week January 16th at noon EST or 9am PST will be renown Healthcare consultant and co-founder of Manage my Practice, Mary Pat Whaley.. She will enlighten us with her Predictions for Medical Practices in 2014. It is sure to be a fabulous show.

888-463-6748Thanks for all the support and letters. I will try to answer all your questions. If you want to join the conversation live please feel free to do so by calling in at

Happy New Year and wishing all a healthy and happy one.
Best wishes,

You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype

An ICD-10 Christmas Tale

An ICD-10 Christmas Tale

One of my clients shared this with me....

December 5, 2013 Healthcare Gerry Wieder

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse:
W53.01XA Bitten by mouse, initial encounter
W53.01XD Bitten by mouse, subsequent encounter
W53.01XS Bitten by mouse, sequela
W53.09XA Other contact with mouse, initial encounter
W53.09XD Other contact with mouse, subsequent encounter
W53.09XS Other contact with mouse, sequela

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there:
X06.2XXA Exposure to ignition of other clothing and apparel, initial encounter
X06.2XXD Exposure to ignition of other clothing and apparel, subsequent encounter
X06.2XXS Exposure to ignition of other clothing and apparel, sequela

X06.3XXA Exposure to melting of other clothing and apparel, initial encounter
X06.3XXD Exposure to melting of other clothing and apparel, subsequent encounter
X06.3XXS Exposure to melting of other clothing and apparel, sequela

W93.2XXS Prolonged exposure in deep freeze unit or refrigerator, sequela

W13.4XXA Fall from, out of or through window, initial encounter
W13.4XXD Fall from, out of or through window, subsequent encounter
W13.4XXS Fall from, out of or through window, sequela
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below:
Y93.H1 Activity, digging, shoveling and raking
X37.2XXA Blizzard (snow)(ice), initial encounter
X37.2XXD Blizzard (snow)(ice), subsequent encounter
X37.2XXS Blizzard (snow)(ice), sequela
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer:

Z01.01 Encounter for examination of eyes and vision with abnormal findings
R44.1 Visual hallucinations

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
R54 Age-related physical debility
F22 Delusional disorders

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

R49.8 Other voice and resonance disorders
R49.9 Unspecified voice and resonance disorder

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

W55.39XA Other contact with other hoof stock, initial encounter
W55.39XD Other contact with other hoof stock, subsequent encounter
W55.39XS Other contact with other hoof stock, sequela

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
V97.0 Occupant of aircraft injured in other specified air transport accidents
W13.0XXA Fall from, out of or through balcony, initial encounter
W13.0XXD Fall from, out of or through balcony, subsequent encounter
W13.0XXS Fall from, out of or through balcony, sequela

W22.01XA Walked into wall, initial encounter
W22.01XD Walked into wall, subsequent encounter
W22.01XS Walked into wall, sequela
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

X37.0XXA Hurricane, initial encounter
X37.0XXD Hurricane, subsequent encounter
X37.0XXS Hurricane, sequela

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

Y93.29 Activity, other involving ice and snow
V96.8XXA Other nonpowered-aircraft accidents injuring occupant, initial encounter
V96.8XXD Other nonpowered-aircraft accidents injuring occupant, subsequent encounter
V96.8XXS Other nonpowered-aircraft accidents injuring occupant, sequela

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

W13.2XXA Fall from, out of or through roof, initial encounter
W13.2XXD Fall from, out of or through roof, subsequent encounter
W13.2XXS Fall from, out of or through roof, sequela
W55.32XA Struck by other hoof stock, initial encounter
W55.32XD Struck by other hoof stock, subsequent encounter
W55.32XS Struck by other hoof stock, sequela

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

X02.0XXA Exposure to flames in controlled fire in building or structure (fireplace), initial encounter
X02.0XXD Exposure to flames in controlled fire in building or structure (fireplace), subsequent encounter
X02.0XXS Exposure to flames in controlled fire in building or structure (fireplace), sequela

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

Y93.E9 Activity, other interior property and clothing maintenance

A bundle of toys he had hung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

Z59.0 Homelessness
Z59.1 Inadequate housing

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

L71.8 Other rosacea
L71.9 Rosacea, unspecified

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

L67.1 Variations in hair color
L67.8 Other hair color and hair shaft abnormalities
L67.9 Hair color and hair shaft abnormality, unspecified

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

Z72.0 Tobacco use
Z57.31 Occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke
F17.290 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, uncomplicated
F17.291 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, in remission
F17.293 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, with withdrawal
F17.298 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, with other nicotine-induced disorders
F17.299 Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product, with unspecified nicotine-induced disorders

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

E66.3 Overweight
Z72.3 Lack of physical exercise

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

R29.890 Loss of height
E66.09 Other obesity due to excess calories

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

H02.043 Spastic entropion of right eye, unspecified eyelid
H02.046 Spastic entropion of left eye, unspecified eyelid
H02.049 Spastic entropion of unspecified eye, unspecified eyelid
H02.143 Spastic ectropion of right eye, unspecified eyelid
H02.146 Spastic ectropion of left eye, unspecified eyelid
H02.149 Spastic ectropion of unspecified eye, unspecified eyelid

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

R49.1 Aphonia (Loss of Speech)
Z56.5 Uncongenial work environment
Z56.3 Stressful work schedule
Z56.6 Other physical and mental strain related to work
G47.26 Circadian rhythm sleep disorder, shift work type

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

V00.221A Fall from sled, initial encounter
V00.221D Fall from sled, subsequent encounter
V00.221S Fall from sled, sequela
V00.228 Other sled accident
V00.228A Other sled accident, initial encounter
V00.228D Other sled accident, subsequent encounter
V00.228S Other sled accident, sequela

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

W94.23XA Exposure to sudden change in air pressure in aircraft during ascent, initial encounter
W94.23XD Exposure to sudden change in air pressure in aircraft during ascent, subsequent encounter
W94.23XS Exposure to sudden change in air pressure in aircraft during ascent, sequela
W94.29XA Exposure to other rapid changes in air pressure during ascent, initial encounter
W94.29XD Exposure to other rapid changes in air pressure during ascent, subsequent encounter
W94.29XS Exposure to other rapid changes in air pressure during ascent, sequela

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Blog here.

The Implosion of Obamacare

Check out for my discussion with Matthew Taber, about the latest on Obamacare.  President Obama has announced a stay of execution for providers and patients, and now extended the implementation another year.  Hear inside information from Matt who served on the Hill as an intern.  He shares valuable information.  Check out to look up any bills or laws and read them yourself without the spin of media interpretation.  Please feel free to comment, and share your ideas.  I want to hear from you.

Facts about Covered California! For Providers

  • Check your contracts some plans will automatically enroll you in all their plans.
  • If you want to be considered for reimbursement in Exchange you will need to submit a letter of intent to: Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California or Healthnet
  • Rates for reimbursement are not going to be released until the end of November 2013.
  • Plans go into effect January 1st 2014
  • Premiums need to be paid by December 15th 2013 for January 1st 2014 coverage
  • Open enrollment period extended to March 31st 2014 to make any changes.
  • Do not be upset if you lose patients- Exchange reimbursement is expected to be at Medi-caid rates. 

First Pod cast- Audits for Hospitals/Doctors

Well, I haven't had the chance to listen back to my podcast but I will share with you the stress of it all.  The ticking clock makes your adrenaline race sort of like being on an episode of 24. I had a little roughness around the edges on the transitions to and back from commercial breaks, but with practice.
My guest was great and I enjoyed our discussion about audits for physicians and hospitals.  Very informative. Check it out at If you have any feedback or questions or want to comment please feel free to email me at and or comment on the blog.
Next show will be great. I am interviewing Derek Pacifico, a retired Homicide detective who is going to talk about elder abuse and homicides in home health situations.  Don't miss it.  I took a homicide class from him to prepare for my novel, and loved loved loved it!
Have a good day and be back soon.

5 Biggest Issues Facing Physicians 2013 -reprint

Re-print of Article from

Five Biggest Issues Facing Physicians in 2013

"For the past few years, an organization called The Physicians Foundation, has released a list of what it considers the top issues facing physicians in the coming year. The Physicians Foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that “seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and help facilitate the delivery of healthcare to patients.”

The organization’s mission statement says, “As the U.S. healthcare system continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in its determination to strengthen the physician-patient relationship, support physicians in sustaining their medical practices and help practicing physicians navigate healthcare reform.”  The organization has a particular focus or interest in physicians in solo and small practices.

The Foundation uses a variety of tools to identify what it considers the top issues, including a  national survey of physicians.   According to the Foundation, the issues on the list for 2013 are:

  1. The Affordable Care Act.  According to the Foundation, physicians are concerned about how the health reform law will be implemented, with particular anxiety focused on the Medicare physician fee schedule and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
  2. Practice Consolidation. As more and more doctors become employed by hospitals or large medical groups, doctors are keeping an eye on the possible unintended consequences of such consolidations – what impact these have on the profession and on patient access and cost of care.
  3. Influx of New Patients.  Due to the ACA, it is estimated that more than 30 million new patients will enter the healthcare delivery system.  Doctors are worried there will not be enough providers to meet the needs of the increased number of patients.
  4. Reduced Autonomy: Related to the issue of consolidation and increased physician employment is a concern of physicians that their ability to exercise independent medical judgments may be hindered by those in non-clinical positions.
  5. Administrative burden. A continual concern for doctors is the increasing burden on them in the form of more regulations and non-clinical paperwork.

In a statement about the Physicians Watch List, Walker Ray, MD, Chair of the Foundation’s Research Committee said, “We hope that the Foundation’s research and insights serve as a pragmatic resource that will help policy makers, physicians and healthcare providers formulate smart policy decisions that are beneficial to America’s patients and doctors.”

or more information check out Modern Healthcare

Need new material for Medical Billing Horror Stories Sequel

If you or someone you  know has had their own personal experience with a medical billing error/horror story please share it with me. I am gathering data for my sequel on Medical Billing Horror Stories- Patient Edition.
Respond to blog or email me at

The Blogger Poem

When I was a kid
People asked me to go jogging
And now many years later
I'm asked if I am blogging?

A blog you ask me to write
What am I supposed to say?
It doesn't really matter I'm told
as long as it's in your own way

The problem with me
is I wear too many hats
so one blog can't just be about
Writing, and billing or video chats

I should write what I know
and make people care
and it should be fascinating
not just about makeup or hair

Well I am not that vain
but I still care how I look
I am not so excited to have my life
plastered all over the Facebook.

Now, not only that, we have to tweet
To you i must confess
I don't have anything profound to share
In 140 characters or less

These are the ways
for your books to get sold
So say all the experts
Or so I am told

I attend many conferences
where the same questions are posed
only send your queries when asked
with your manuscript enclosed

Agents might answer you back
but more likely they won't
Many writers give up
but here is hoping you don't

Maybe this year
your book will get representation
and someone out there
loves all of your creation

I will make every effort
for my blog will not be boring
to have informative stuff and a laugh
to prevent you from snoring!

And so fellow writers
i end with a note
That' all for now
I think that was a quote


Exciting Guest to annouce

Hi. First, Talk zone has added my show page. Check it out at
I am very excited that I have lined up guests for November and and part of December. 
Having a lazy day today alternating between trying to read a book, and shopping on-line.  Guess I will do a little of both.  Hope you are all enjoying your weekend too.

More to post later.....



Welcome to my new blog! As all bloggers/writers will tell you there is nothing worse than a blank page.  Lucky for you all I never seem to have a shortage of things to say.

September  Attending Writer's Digest Conference in LA
                October   14 day trip to Italy, Venice, Tuscany, Amalfi      Coast, and Rome
                November 7th Launch of my radio podcast on http://www.talkzone radio called The Business of Medicine.  Tune in.  Exciting guests and topics! If you are interested in being a guest, please email me at