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How Do I Become a Medical Underwriter?

A medical underwriter must have excellent interpersonal skills.
Obtaining an administrative position in a health services field may help benefit a person's future career as a medical underwriter.
A medical underwriter must have excellent computer and research skills.
A medical underwriter may be responsible for performing insurance application evaluations.
A medical underwriter may work in a hospital setting.
A medical underwriter determines if an applicant should be granted medical coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 06 July 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Although there are several ways to become an underwriter, the most successful route is to obtain a degree and gain experience in the field. Medical underwriters usually have to perform highly complex duties, including risk assessment, insurance application evaluation, and authorizing various insurance policies. This profession has a variety of fields, and you should choose a specialty area to pursue in order to become a medical underwriter. Choices may include life, medical, or dental insurance, and most of these choices have slightly different training and educational procedures. Once you have determined which career path suits you, you will need to research several schools that have programs that will help you become a medical underwriter.

After you have chosen a four year undergraduate university, you may want to consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in administrative business, finance, business law, or accounting. A college adviser may be able to assist you with choosing any additional courses needed to become a medical underwriter. Most students may be advised to take several courses in pre-medical studies to familiarize themselves with medical vocabulary and other necessary information needed to assess a client's medical history. Business courses are essential to understanding the technical portion of this career and should be your primary focus throughout school. Some students may decide to continue their education and achieve a master's degree in a related field, which may increase career options in this profession.

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An internship in an administrative position in a health services field may also help you gain experience that will benefit your future career. There are also courses that you can take that lead to certification and, although it may not be required in most jurisdictions, it may expedite the process to become a medical underwriter. These are generally short training courses designed to provide you with training certificates in this field, and most of these programs can be found on the Internet.

In addition to education, experience, and training, you will need to have excellent computer skills and be able to work with a variety of programs used in the medical field. Critical thinking, problem solving skills, and successful research techniques are also important to performing the duties involved in being a medical underwriter. Interpersonal skills are also needed because you are in constant contact with clients, coworkers, and other business professionals. There are specific guidelines that you will need to follow when assessing insurance cases, and you should make sure that you are up-to-date with all proper procedures.

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Soulfox
Post 2

@Melonlity -- it might be a bit premature to claim that underwriting has been eliminated by Obamacare. Most people in the insurance and health industries are still trying to figure out what impact the new law will have. The same is true of consumers. That's not to say that one shouldn't use caution (that's good advice for any career), but the prospects for the medical underwriting field might not be as dire as some have claimed.

Melonlity
Post 1

Approach this career with caution. There is little doubt that Obamacare has changed quite a bit and the observation that the new law eliminates underwriting has been uttered by more than a few state officials.

That's not saying there is no future in that career. It is, however, a bit of advice -- don't jump into it without knowing all the details of how insurance laws in the United States have changed.

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