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A health underwriter examines and writes documents for patients in health care. Health underwriters work with both individual clients and larger firms to process the information. Jobs involve marketing, managing projects, implementing systems, organizing files and obtaining information. Health underwriting involves a broad understanding of the health care field, as well as business tactics.
Becoming an underwriter involves receiving a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. The student’s major will differ according to the school and the programs offered, but it will be in the health industry. Courses will cover a variety of health science topics, such as individual health care, group benefits and managed care. Most of these programs have a rigid schedule for completing the degree because each course builds on a previous one. Once the student receives a bachelor’s degree, he or she is eligible to practice as a health underwriter, provided that continuing education courses are taken, and the underwriter is recertified every two years.
Underwriters generally work in hospitals, paramedical facilities or inspection companies. In a medical environment, the underwriter is responsible for analyzing all underwriting information and processing it, along with patients’ files and applications. Documents must be examined for any risk factors, as the underwriter looks at business risks and profits, manages loss and growth ratios, and creates budgets for underwriting expenses. In a health care organization, the underwriter will also work with internal stakeholders to coordinate support after sales and transactions that occur at the facility.
When health underwriters work at inspection companies, duties typically vary. Here the underwriter may act as a health insurance underwriter, focusing on the particulars of client insurance policies. Health insurance underwriters are trained to give advice about insurance topics such as the insurance market in the medical community and disability income for individuals or groups.
Those who hope to become health underwriters should have an interest in the medical community and be well-versed in health care knowledge and jargon. The underwriter should be organized and detail-oriented, as maintaining a solid system for the paperwork is one of the key tasks in this career. Files are often stored on computers too, so the underwriter should have a strong set of computer skills. Health underwriters should interact well with people so clients can feel comfortable around them. They should also be self-motivated, goal-oriented and possess good communication and problem-solving skills.