How Much Do Medical Billers Make? Read On…

If you’re looking for an at-home job or a job in the medical industry which has low entry barriers, you will probably hear a lot about medical billing.  Medical billing is how health professionals get paid for their services, so naturally it is a very important job in the field.  Medical billers must have some technical knowledge, but since they do not actually administer medicine, less training is involved, and you can enter into the field with nothing more than a certificate.  How much money can you make doing this job?  Is it enough to make a good living?  Is there room for growth?  And what’s the difference between medical billing and medical coding?

Medical Biller Job Description

how much do medical billers make?As a medical biller, it is your job to make sure that physicians and other health professionals get paid.  This is a more complex task than it would be in some other industries; medical treatments and tests are complex, and there is a whole system of codes in place to try and organize and delineate them from one another.  It is the task of the medical coder to transform the procedures which take place in the healthcare setting into alphanumeric codes, and your job to bill patients and insurance companies according to those codes.

While the codes simplify your task somewhat, there are additional complexities which come with medical billing.  Insurance companies, patients, and medical providers often have a difficult time deciding who is supposed to pay for what procedures and what percentages each party is responsible for.  You are best positioned to try and dissect complicated situations and determine which parties owe what.  This is the problem-solving aspect of the job—that and getting patients to pay what they owe.  Medical billers are able to put patients on payment plans, contact patients with overdue accounts, and if there is no other recourse, send accounts to collections.

You will not be responsible for the coding side of the work—that is the job of medical coders.  You’ll learn the codes during training and on the job, however, so if you want to transition into medical coding later on, you should find the transition relatively easy.  You’ll already have the knowledge and the experience which you need.  The close relationship between the two jobs is the reason you will tend to see them mentioned together.

How Much Do Medical Billers Make?

The medical billing and coding salary, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is $32,350 a year and $15.55 per hour on average.  That number is the median, not the mean or mode.  Many medical billers make more than that and many also make less.  While starting out you should expect to make less since you have less experience and don’t have much of a track record.  As you continue on in your field you should seek opportunities to increase your income.  Your income may increase naturally with your experience, but you can also try and increase it by choosing a specialty or by relocating.  Billers in different parts of the country make different salaries.  Some facilities also pay more money than others.  You could make more money working in a particular hospital or a particular clinic.  You might also find a better opportunity working at an insurance company.

Online salaries for medical billers are comparable to offline salaries.  There is likewise plenty of variation, and it will be up to you to hunt down the best opportunities.  The majority of medical billers both online and offline work full time, but you may also find part time jobs available.  Working at home saves you commute time and gives you more time for yourself and your family, even if you still work 40 hours a week.  This can be great if you enjoy having more freedom in your day or if you want to spend more time with family members.  Many stay at home parents become medical billers and coders to earn a little extra money while still being present with their children.

How Do You Become a Medical Biller?

Training to become a medical biller or coder is quite minimal; you won’t find the same kind of rigorous requirements that you’d be facing if you were going to become a medical professional who provides treatments or conducts tests on patients.  While you won’t be working directly with patients, you will still be working with medical terminology and information.  As such, while you can come at medical billing without any education in the subject, it’s a lot easier to do the job if you do get some training first.  You’ll also probably get a better job with a higher salary if you do this.  What’s most important is getting certification.  You can get certified by passing an exam which tests your knowledge of the field.

One of the great things about medical billing (as well as medical coding) is that it is relatively easy to get into the field.  It doesn’t take a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree; you can get the knowledge you need by taking a course online without even leaving your house.  This saves you money and time, which makes it easier to enter the profession while still working a full time job to pay your bills now.  Medical billing may not pay as well as becoming a doctor or a nurse, but it’s an opportunity to work in the medical field which is more accessible.  It’s also a job which you should be able to find anywhere in the country, whether you live in the city, the suburbs or the country.  With an internet connection you may even be able to work in your home.

If working in the medical field is something you’re interested in and you enjoy helping patients and others to resolve their problems, then medical billing could be a great career choice.  Even though this is a behind-the-scenes job, hospitals and clinics cannot function without it, and it gives you a chance to make a difference.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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