Hospitals, insurance companies and patients depend on medical insurance specialists to process medical insurance claims and facilitate payments to the appropriate medical professionals or institutions. Medical insurance specialists review charges for specific medical procedures and verify payment amounts covered by patients' insurance companies. They also answer questions from patients, doctors and insurance companies. To become a medical insurance specialist, you'll need at least an associate degree. You can expect to earn a salary averaging over $44,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
Medical insurance specialists earned average annual salaries of $44,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. The minimum requirements for this job are usually an associate degree in health information technology and six months' or more experience in the medical insurance industry. Employers may also prefer that you have certification in medical records or coding through the Academy of Professional Coders or the American Health Information Management Association. Other requirements include knowledge of medical terminology, an attention to detail and analytical, communication, customer service and computer skills.
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for medical insurance specialists varied significantly in one U.S. region, according to Simply Hired. In the South, they earned the highest salary of $69,000 in Washington, D.C., and the lowest of $34,000 in Mississippi. Those in the West earned between $35,000 and $50,000 per year, respectively, in Montana and California. If you worked in the Northeast, you'd make $40,000 or $53,000 per year, respectively, in Maine or Massachusetts, the lowest and highest salaries in that region. In the Midwest, you'd make the highest salary of $47,000 in Minnesota and the lowest of $34,000 in South Dakota.
You may earn more in certain industries as a medical insurance specialist. For example, medical records and health information technicians, who work with medical insurance specialists, earned the highest salaries of $66,060 in the pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing industry as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also earned relatively high salaries of $51,840 in the insurance employee benefits funds industry -- versus an average industry salary of $36,770. You may also earn more in the pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing and insurance employee benefits funds industry working as a medical insurance specialist. Your salary is also likely to be higher working for a large hospital or physicians' network, as larger hospitals usually have higher revenues to support higher salaries.
The BLS doesn't report job opportunities for medical insurance specialists. It does project a 21-percent increase in jobs for medical records and health information technicians in the next decade. This faster-than-average growth rate -- compared to the 14-percent growth rate for all jobs -- may also apply to medical insurance specialists, as an aging population will increase demand for more medical tests, procedures and treatments.
2016 Salary Information for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $38,040 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical records and health information technicians earned a 25th percentile salary of $29,940, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $49,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 206,300 people were employed in the U.S. as medical records and health information technicians.