How to Become a Medical Insurance Biller in 5 Steps

Research what it takes to become a medical insurance biller. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is A Medical Insurance Biller?

Medical insurance billers process medical claims for reimbursement from a patient's insurance, and bill individuals for medical treatment if they do not have insurance, or their insurance does not cover the treatment. They work in hospitals, doctors' offices and nursing care facilities. They perform their tasks in offices, and may spend many hours working on computers and processing account information. As of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that 38% of medical records and health information technicians, which includes medical insurance billers, worked in state, local and private hospitals.

Education Required Certificate or associate's degree
Key Skills Mathematics, healthcare knowledge, and computer proficiency
Certification Required Required by many employers
Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% for all medical records and health information technicians*
Average Salary (2015) $40,430 for all medical records and health information technicians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma

In high school, some classes that can help you prepare for the job include mathematics, biology, health and computers. As a medical biller, you'll need to have knowledge of both medical terminology and insurance policies, and much of this work is increasingly done with electronic health records.

Step 2: Attend a Training Program

You can choose to earn a certificate in medical billing and coding or an associate's degree in health information management. Certificate programs typically take a year or less to complete, while associate's degree program takes two years. In a training program, you'll study medical terminology, medical coding and insurance procedures.

Step 3: Become Certified

After completing your training program, you can choose to seek a professional certification to demonstrate your knowledge and ability. A common certification is the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This organization also offers an entry-level Certified Coding Associate designation. The American Medical Billing Association offers an exam to qualify you as a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS). Additionally, the American Academy of Professional Coders offers certifications for hospital and health plan companies as well as 20 specialty credentials, such as internal medicine, pediatric or cardiology coding.

Step 4: Start Work

You can seek a job through several institutions, such as physician's offices, insurance companies, hospitals, pharmacies or government entities. Though you might not need to be certified, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that you could improve your employment opportunities by obtaining professional certification (www.bls.gov).

Step 5: Enjoy Flexibility and Job Security

As the healthcare field expands, so does the need for quality administrative support, which means that entry-level positions should be plentiful. The BLS stated that employment for medical records and health information technicians, a group that includes medical billers, is projected to increase 15% from 2014-2024. You could be best qualified for advancement with strong computer and technology skills.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Information clerks can learn through on-the-job training, and they work to collect data and maintain information that can be made available to customers as needed. Medical transcriptionists usually have a certificate, and they convert verbal reports from medical professionals into documents. Both of these careers involve a high degree of confidentiality, and familiarity with medical terminology and codes may also be required.

If you're considering the clinical side of healthcare, you might look into a medical assisting career. Medical assistants complete both clinical and clerical tasks, which can include scheduling patient visits, checking vital signs and assisting doctors during patient exams. Many medical assistants hold a certificate or an associate's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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