California, which has the nation's highest percentage of uninsured residents, is preparing to take radical steps to insure its residents. Its health care industry will depend heavily on qualified health claims examiners and medical billers.

Your Career Insurance: California's Health Care Industry Braces for Change

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According to the California Healthcare Foundation, approximately 6.6 million residents have health insurance. And many of the state's leaders, including Governor Schwarzenegger, are proposing sweeping changes.

California has a higher proportion of residents without healthcare coverage than the nation as a whole. In addition, the state also has comparatively lower rates of employer-based coverage.

That's why, in early January 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed a radical new plan: employers with at least 10 workers would be required to buy more insurance for their workers, or pay four percent of their payroll into a state program to help provide coverage for the uninsured. Not only that, but insurers would not be allowed to refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Last but not least, the state's Healthy Families program, which provides insurance for children in low-income families, would expand.

In essence, said the Governor, "If you can't afford health insurance, the state will help you buy it, but you must be insured."

Implications for the Health Care Industry
While many are balking at the governor's radical plan, one thing is clear to all of California's leaders: In the coming years, the state will experience a health insurance overhaul. And hospitals, physicians' offices, and insurance companies around the state will desperately need to fill a rapidly growing number of health claims examiner and medical billing jobs.

Your Future as a Health Claims Examiner
You can be sure that with training as a health claims examiner or medical biller, you'll enjoy healthy career prospects.

Medical billers may work in hospitals, doctors' offices, or for insurers. These detail-oriented professionals review insurance claims to ensure accuracy and accordance with guidelines and regulations. They'll examine claims to determine whether the costs, treatments, and expected hospital stays are reasonable for each diagnosis. They may also interview doctors or specialists to secure information, and authorize payment for claims.

These important professionals are rewarded with a higher salary than many other entry-level administrative employees. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for health care examiners in 2004 was $44,220.

The BLS also notes that employers will give preference to graduates of medical billing programs. And those in healthcare examining or medical billing jobs must continue their education while employed, in order to stay on top of the latest medical treatments and insurance regulations.

As the nation's baby boomer population ages, healthcare will continue to be the nation's fastest-growing industry. And with California's proposed insurance changes already in the pipeline, you can insure your career with training from one of the state's health care examiner/medical biller programs.

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