Medical billing and coding is getting popular today as a healthcare major, especially among students who are interested in flexible careers. Another common reason that makes this healthcare major become popular is that medical billing and coding offers work from home opportunities. So, those who seek for great work-life balance want to pursue a career in this field. However, jobs in medical billing and coding are not free since individuals are required to have at least a post-secondary certificate. So, how much medical billing and coding online course cost?
Medical Billing and Coding Certification Cost
There is not an exact answer to how much it needs for medical billing and coding certification. It extremely varies by institutions and 2020 best accredited online certificate programs in medical billing and coding. According to the College Board, the average published cost in community colleges is currently $3,440 per year. Santa Barbara City College is considered as one of the most affordable medical coding specialist certification programs in the States. The certification costs only $46 per unit, which is $898 in total.
However, colleges usually charge between $4,200 and $19,500 for medical billing and coding certifications. For online certificates, the training costs as little as $749. But once again, it can be varied, depending on the institutions where you enroll. Moreover, do not forget about the cost for certification exams as well.
Depending on the path you want to take within your medical billing and coding career, there are 2 options that you can choose to earn certification. You can choose one between 2 associations. The first governing body is AHIMA or the American Health Information Management Association. This governing body offers certificates that focus on medical billing or medical coding as well as health information management. Another option that you can select is AAPC or the Academy of Professional Coders. It offers certification programs that focus on professional services, including inpatient or outpatient coding and billing. Both AHIMA and AAPC are recognized on a national and international scale. So, when it comes to which one is better, it depends on your goals.
The certified coding associate exam of AHIMA costs $299. While the AAPC’s certified professional coder exam costs $300 with $125 for membership. Read : Become A Certified Medical Coder?
How to Afford Medical Billing and Coding Program Costs
Degree-granting, accredited medical billing and coding programs will qualify learners for federal financial aid. Once they have submitted the FAFSA, learners will be able to get Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, FSEOG Grant, Pell Grant, and other specialty funding. Such as Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Professional institutions also provide beneficial financial resources for majors in medical billing and coding.
For instance, the AHIMA Foundation provides sponsors for more than 50 Merit Scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 each summer. While the APPC provides the Hardship Scholarship to future medical coders with significant financial needs. The Partners Healthcare Medical Coding Loan Forgiveness program can also wipe loans up to $10,000. Programs in medical billing and coding are often short. So, they will likely cost significantly less than 2-year or 4-year degrees.