9 Careers in Health Insurance (With Salaries and Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The health insurance industry offers excellent job opportunities for graduates interested in various career paths. Candidates with knowledge in economics, finance and accounting who want to work in the healthcare sector may find a suitable position in health insurance. Understanding the available career options and their related duties can help you decide which health insurance career may be worth pursuing. In this article, we list some of the most popular careers in health insurance for you to consider, state the salaries and primary duties for each and share some benefits.

Why choose careers in health insurance?

If offering essential services to clients and potentially making a difference in their lives appeals to you, one of the careers in health insurance may be for you. You can explore different career and educational options in the health insurance industry that match your interests.

A common career path is to start in customer service and then progress to underwriting or management. Some entry-level positions in the health insurance industry may allow you to start your career right after university, such as becoming an insurance claims processor. Working in health insurance offers many opportunities for you to learn valuable skills, such as critical thinking and customer service. These are some of the most popular careers in health insurance:

1. Insurance manager

National average salary: $99,939 per year

Primary duties: A health insurance manager oversees the daily operations of all service areas related to delivering health insurance to clients. This may include client support, contract administration, account installation and implementation, enrolment, eligibility and claim processing. The manager may also handle complicated customer service issues that exceed the scope of the regular customer service agents.

Practical skills for a health insurance manager include excellent conflict management when taking care of customers who may have cause for complaints. Leadership skills are crucial for motivating teams to serve their clients and ensuring they provide excellent service to them.

2. Insurance claims processor

National average salary: $63,814 per year

Primary duties: An insurance claims processor assesses and processes medical claims for health insurance companies. Their clerical duties can include processing new insurance policies, adjusting existing policies or receiving the latest information from policyholders to maintain the accuracy of their accounts. A health insurance claims processor may perform data entry tasks and assist other insurance specialists with claim reimbursements. They determine whether the claim is valid, influencing the claim's acceptance or rejection. Focus, attention to detail and accuracy may benefit a health insurance claims processor.

3. Insurance benefits advisor

National average salary: $80,166 per year

Primary duties: Insurance benefits advisors consult with clients looking for a new health insurance policy. They help the clients understand their choices for coverage. Benefits advisors may organise in-person meetings with potential clients or schedule calls to discuss the products and options. Part of their service is selling voluntary additional health insurance benefits.

Since working with people is a large part of a benefits advisor's job, excellent communication skills are important. Critical thinking skills are also useful for assessing which insurance solution may benefit the client most.

Related: 8 Types of Health Policy Jobs (Plus Duties and Salaries)

4. Clinical coder

National average salary: $70,770 per year

Primary duties: Clinical coding is a health administration function that translates clinical statements into a coded format. A clinical coder analyses diagnoses and procedures from a patient's medical records and assigns standardised treatment codes according to the ICD-10 AM classification system. Coding enables the insurance company to categorise the treatment into a diagnosis-related group and process it for funding and reimbursement.

The coded information might be useful for clinical research and audits, health resource allocation, epidemiological studies, clinical benchmarking, case mix management, health services planning, statistics and education. Clinical coders require knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and disease processes.

Related: What Is a Medical Coder? (With FAQs)

5. Clinical coding manager

National average salary: $80,354 per year

Primary duties: A clinical coding manager coordinates the tasks of clinical coding specialists. They may lead group tasks to solve coding entry issues or check patient files to ensure the coding adheres to the company's billing requirements. They help ensure the timely processing of health insurance claims and monitor the system to process the claims correctly. Part of a clinical coding manager's job is to revise and update the treatment and procedural codes stored in medical databases. They may work for hospitals, clinics, physician offices or insurance companies.

Clinical coding managers usually have leadership skills for overseeing teams and strong time-management skills to ensure the claims department operates smoothly.

6. Insurance broker

National average salary: $68,092 per year

Primary duties: An insurance broker connects clients with insurance companies by helping them find the most beneficial health insurance policy for their situation. They arrange meetings with potential clients, discuss the client's needs and file the paperwork necessary to secure the policy. An insurance broker can work on their client's behalf to negotiate lower premiums and new policy terms and extend the benefits of insurance companies. They represent the consumers, not the insurance company. This means their priority is usually to negotiate in favour of their client.

Since a broker focuses on their clients, it's important to have a good rapport with people of various lifestyles. A broker who can inspire confidence in their clients and build a sense of trust may experience a high client retention rate.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

7. Health insurance actuary

National average salary: $103,441 per year

Primary duties: A health actuary works within the health insurance industry to design new insurance policies, including determining appropriate premium rates. Part of their job is to assess the probability of events, such as accidents, injuries or illness, and estimate the potential costs. Actuaries calculate how different policies would pay depending on different situations. They may create charts to demonstrate their calculations and present their findings to healthcare company executives or clients.

A health insurance actuary may have keen analytical, problem-solving and project management skills. Their specialised knowledge of maths includes calculus, statistics and probability.

8. Insurance underwriter

National average salary: $87,195 per year

Primary duties: An insurance underwriter evaluates insurance applications to assess their risks. To calculate risk and approve or deny coverage, they analyse data and research candidates' applications using computer programs. They then use the data to establish the terms of each health insurance policy, including coverage amounts and monthly premiums.

Employees with analytical thinking skills and strategic planning abilities are suitable for working as insurance underwriters.

9. Inbound health insurance call centre agent

National average salary: $58,022 per year

Primary duties: An inbound call centre agent manages calls by following communications scripts. They identify the customers' needs, answer questions and solve problems. The agent may transfer calls to the appropriate people or departments, such as the client's broker or the billing department.

An inbound health insurance call centre agent is ideally a friendly, people-orientated individual with excellent communication skills and an ability to stay level-headed while managing multiple calls. A calm demeanour is especially important for liaising with clients in various emotional states. Making the client feel heard and understood while actively seeking to resolve their problems is an integral part of maintaining good customer relationships.

Benefits of working in health insurance

Apart from working in an environment that lends itself to helping people, careers in health insurance provide many opportunities to broaden your skill set. You can enhance both your written and verbal communication skills through dealings with clients, team members and management. Also, you can gain experience with technology, as health insurance software may require you to learn how to work with a new system.

Working in health insurance can be a fast-paced environment, which helps train you to work quickly and efficiently. This applies whether you manage client payouts on the claims side or sell healthcare insurance to clients as a broker. According to Labour Markets, job security is likely to be high as the health insurance industry may grow by 6.3% by November 2026. Health and general insurance are the third biggest source of employment for those working in the insurance sector.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles