Written by: Rachel Schneider
Last updated: May 2020
Earning a medical billing and coding associate degree online qualifies graduates to work in many different professional healthcare settings. Many individuals pursue employment as medical records and health information technicians, among other roles. Common responsibilities include inputting patient records, ensuring accuracy, keeping databases organized and updated, and maintaining the confidentiality of all records.
Finding an affordable online associate degree in medical coding helps ensure graduates enter the job market without significant amounts of student debt. Accredited programs make it easier to transfer credits, seek certification, and compete against other candidates. Learners with full-time employment or familial obligations prefer the flexibility of online programs. View our ranking methodology and check out the top affordable associate degree in medical billing programs for 2020.
View ranking methodology here.
What to Expect From an Online Medical Billing and Coding Associate Program
An online medical billing and coding associate degree typically includes 60 credits and requires approximately two years of full-time learning. Part-time students usually graduate within three years. Outside of coursework, some programs may also require an internship to help build practical skills. Common coursework covers introduction to billing and coding, current procedural terminology, international classification of diseases, and patient privacy.
Medical billing and coding professionals generally do not need to hold licensure, but some states may require those working as cancer registrars to hold certification. Employers may also prefer job candidates who possess certification.
Career Outlook for Medical Billing and Coding Professionals
Medical records and health information technicians find employment in hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, long-term care facilities, or other offices that handle medical records. Some also work for health insurance agencies.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $40,350 in 2018, with those in the top 10% of earners bringing home a median salary of $66,260 in the same timeframe. Factors affecting pay include degree level, amount of experience, type of employer, and location. Individuals working for hospitals tend to earn the most, while those in physician's offices earn the least. The BLS projects that roles for these professionals will grow by 11% from 2018-28, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Affordable Online Associate Degrees in Medical Billing and Coding 2020
Southwest Tech offers a health information technology associate degree for students interested in learning more about medical billing and coding, along with other aspects of acquiring, protecting, and analyzing traditional and digital medical information. The online program allows students to complete their coursework entirely online, except for professional practice experiences.
Students can begin the program in August or January and must earn a "C" grade or higher in each of their courses to progress. After their first and second year of coursework, learners can gain hands-on experience through paid internship opportunities. Throughout the rigorous curriculum, degree-seekers explore digital literacy for healthcare, general anatomy and physiology, and human diseases for the health professions.
Learners enjoy affordable tuition rates, each paying about $9,850 for total tuition costs. An applicant must submit a completed application, a $30 payment, transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and participate in an interview.
Average Net Price: $9,295
Learners who want to enroll in an affordable, online medical billing and coding associate degree can consider CC. During the specialized curriculum, degree-seekers learn how to code patients' medical information for insurance purposes by using different coding systems.
Expert instructors with experience working in healthcare for at least three decades provide learners with specialized instruction, focusing on practical experiences. Throughout the curriculum, degree-seekers explore reimbursement methodologies, current procedural terminology, and international classification of disease.
Once learners complete their associate of applied science degree, they can continue their education and obtain a bachelor's degree to advance their skills and expand their professional opportunities. CC associate degree-holders can transfer their credits to Southwestern College, allowing them to complete a bachelor's degree in about 18 months. Residents of Cowley County enjoy affordable tuition rates of $57 per credit.
Average Net Price: $9,122
The health information technology and management program at LCCC features a fully online format, including an online lab component. Each allied health enrollee must complete a pre-clinical urine drug screen completed at the student's expense, along with a background check.
The 63-credit curriculum explores computer software for medical office professionals, health data management, and healthcare quality improvement. Each applicant can collaborate with a career coach before applying to ensure their program aligns with their career goals.
During the admissions process, each prospective student must provide a completed application, apply for financial aid, provide transcripts, complete orientation, meet with an academic advisor, and register and pay for classes. Learners enjoy affordable tuition rates of about $148 per credit hour for in-state students and $346 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
Average Net Price: $6,650
Keiser University offers an affordable associate degree in medical coding to prepare learners with the knowledge and skills they need to assign accurate medical codes used for diagnostic procedures and other services offered by healthcare practitioners. Learners focus on clerical and administrative functions related to compliance, insurance claims, and reimbursement.
Medical billing and coding students develop their ability to use medical classification systems and language to code procedures and diagnoses. The specialized program prepares learners to complete the American Academy of Professional Coders credentialing exam. Each enrollee must earn a total of 60 credit hours of coursework. Degree-seekers explore medical office procedures with insurance, computerized medical office management, and coding cases practice experience.
Each applicant must provide proof of high school graduation or a GED certificate. To apply, a prospective student must contact an admissions counselor, attend an open house or plan a campus visit, and submit an application.
Average Net Price: $27,649
HCTC offers a medical information technology program that prepares students to pursue careers across healthcare settings, including clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals. The college features regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Learners can tailor their degrees to align with their interests and career goals by pursuing tracks in electronic medical records, medical-administrative, medical coding, and medical transcription.
Enrollees can earn their associate degree within two years of full-time study. Learners can also pursue two diploma options and seven different certificate programs. Prospective students must complete placement testing to evaluate their skill levels in math, writing, reading, and English as a second language.
Average Net Price: $6,044
Students can enroll in the affordable medical billing and coding associate degree at NTC to complete comprehensive training using nationally recognized coding systems.
The 60-credit associate of applied science allows learners to explore topics, including anatomy and physiology, U.S. healthcare systems and medical billing and insurance, and pharmacology. Students can transfer up to 60 credits to the bachelor of applied science in business administration at Mayville State University, allowing them to advance their degrees and expand their career options.
Degree-seekers may need to enroll in college readiness courses in math, reading, or writing, depending on how they score during their placement tests. During the admissions process, each prospective student must complete an online application and pay a $20 fee. Each candidate must provide high school transcripts or a GED certificate with their application.
Average Net Price: $11,348
Located in Highland, Kansas, Highland Community College offers one of the most affordable medical billing and coding associate degree opportunities in the nation. The associate in applied science in medical coding degree prepares learners for careers in the medical field, working as coders across healthcare settings.
Each enrollee must complete 65 semester credit hours, developing the skills and knowledge needed to analyze, use, and assign the proper codes to medical procedures and diagnoses for billing and insurance processes. The rigorous curriculum prepares degree-seekers to take the national certified coding associate or certified coding specialist exams administered by the American Health Information Management Association.
Degree-seekers can complete their program entirely online. Learners who pursue full-time enrollment can satisfy their degree requirements within two years. The program's capstone course requires learners to complete clinical hours at approved coding facilities.
Average Net Price: $6,864
M State offers a health information technology associate of applied science program. During the 64-credit curriculum, degree-seekers learn how to apply regulations, standards, and guidelines to health information activities to ensure compliance. Students also learn to assign procedure and diagnostic codes adhering to guidelines.
The unique program combines general education requirements and technical courses, providing students with a well-rounded, comprehensive education. M State features regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The health information technology program boasts specialized accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.
Learners can complete their program requirements within two years. Throughout their curriculum, degree-seekers explore health information systems, medical science for health information professionals, intermediate procedure coding, and fundamentals of electronic health records.
Average Net Price: $10,235
The associate of science in healthcare management at P.I.T. includes a medical billing and coding academy. During the unique program, students learn to understand the basic classification of diseases and apply the correct codes for reimbursement to those diseases.
Upon completion of the program, students understand the cultural differences in healthcare delivery and recognize the importance of healthcare laws and ethical behavior. The rigorous curriculum allows degree-seekers to focus on specialized topics, including basic office software applications, healthcare law and ethics, and medical office administration. Learners can earn their degree in two years of full-time study.
Each candidate must complete an application, provide proof of high school graduation, take an assessment test, and meet with an admissions specialist. Prospective students can also schedule campus visits.
Average Net Price: $17,239
The associate of applied science in health information technology at IHCC boasts specialized accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management. The unique program prepares degree-seekers to pursue careers as health information technicians in charge of managing and maintaining patient health information.
During the specialized curriculum, learners focus on the practice of collecting, analyzing, and protecting both traditional and digital medical information to provide quality patient care. The program focuses on science, business, and information technology. Graduates become eligible to complete a national certification exam and become registered health information technicians.
Throughout their coursework, learners explore several topics, including revenue cycle management, medical terminology, and reimbursement methodologies. The affordable program features tuition rates of $180 per credit hour for online and in-state students, and $240 per credit hour for international or out-of-state students.
Average Net Price: $7,939
CMCC offers one of the most affordable medical billing and coding associate degrees in the nation. The medical coding and electronic health records program teaches students about the professional and personal ethics within the medical coding industry. Students can earn their associate in applied science degrees entirely online or enroll in the on-campus option.
During the program, degree-seekers develop the specialized skills and knowledge they need to graduate and pursue careers at computer software companies, home health agencies, and insurance companies, among other settings.
The college features rolling admissions. Each applicant must complete an application and provide high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and documentation of all program prerequisites. Boasting the lowest tuition in New England, the college charges tuition rates of just $94 per credit.
Average Net Price: $9,324
MSC Southeast offers an associate of applied science medical administrative assistant program to meet the demand for healthcare professionals with specialized knowledge and skills. The comprehensive two-year program includes 15 college-level general education credits, along with 45 credits of technical education focused on administrative skills within the medical field.
During the unique program, degree-seekers progress from general office skills, including word processing, business communications, and spreadsheets, to more in-depth skills specific to medicine and the healthcare field. Courses teach learners to understand medical terminology and the cycle of medical insurance claims.
Degree-seekers can begin their program during the spring or fall semesters and consider part- or full-time enrollment, depending on their scheduling needs. Students can earn their degree on-campus or through an entirely online format. Learners can also combine on-campus and online courses to complete a hybrid program.
Average Net Price: $12,854
The associate of applied science medical administrative assistant program offered at DCB prepares students to pursue healthcare careers on the administrative side. After completing the program, students can sit for the certified medical office assistant exam offered by the American Medical Technologists.
Combining medical, general, and administrative/management courses prepares degree-seekers to perform many tasks within healthcare settings. Coursework explores concepts of anatomy and physiology, principles of nutrition wellness, and medical terminology.
Degree-seekers interested in expanding their administrative abilities even further can pursue a medical coding certificate. Learners can enroll in the medical administrative assistant program at the Bottineau or Minot campuses, while medical coding students can earn their degree at the Bottineau campus. In both programs, learners enjoy the opportunity to pursue online enrollment.
Average Net Price: $9,107
Located in Killeen, CTC offers one of the most affordable medical billing and coding associate degrees in the country. Learners can consider several degree and certificate opportunities within the medical office technology discipline to prepare for careers as medical coding and billing specialists, medical office administrators, and medical documentation specialists.
Degree-seekers can tailor their associate of applied science degree to align with their professional goals and interests by following pathways in medical coding and billing or medical office technology.
The associate of applied science in medical coding and billing comprises 60 credits of coursework spanning two years of study. During the rigorous curriculum, learners explore health information and medical records, anatomy and physiology for medical assistants, and coding and reimbursement methodologies.
Degree-seekers enjoy affordable tuition rates at CTC, paying $90 per credit if they reside in the district, $113 per credit for in-state students who reside outside of the district, and $235 per credit for out-of-state or international students.
Average Net Price: $5,258
Degree-seekers can enroll in an affordable associate degree in medical coding program at NCTC. The medical coding specialist program prepares degree-seekers for procedures used in medical billing processes, including diagnosis and procedure coding, medical insurance claim processing, and patient account management.
Throughout their curriculum, students develop an understanding of medical terminology, human disease conditions, and human anatomy and physiology. Learners explore nationally recognized coding systems that allow them to classify diagnoses and procedures in medical treatment.
The entirely online program examines medical coding ethics, medical billing and insurance, and medical office simulation. Learners must earn a "C" grade or higher in each of their courses and meet minimum scores for their placement exams.
Average Net Price: $10,406
RCTC offers an associate of applied science in health information management program. After completing the program, students can sit for the national exam, sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association, to earn the registered health information technician credential.
During the rigorous program, degree-seekers learn to apply legal policies, principles, standards, and regulations to protect the security of health information. Learners also focus on the appropriate terminology related to human diseases, human anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology.
Each enrollee can also pursue a coding specialist diploma, providing them with specialized training in coding for medical and health records. The program teaches degree-seekers how to understand the appropriate codes for procedures and diagnoses. Students also learn how to ensure that government agencies and insurance companies receive accurate financial reimbursements.
Average Net Price: $13,645
Guilford Technical Community College offers one of the most affordable medical billing and coding associate degrees. The medical office administration medical billing and coding option prepares degree-seekers for careers in patient billing and medical coding within physician's offices, outpatient and ambulatory care facilities, and other healthcare entities.
During the program, learners explore electronic health records, medical insurance and billing, and medical terminology. Coursework emphasizes hands-on learning environments to prepare degree-seekers for administrative roles in healthcare after graduation. Along with their required coursework, learners focus on work-based learning experiences.
Graduates can pursue administrative and clerical roles within dental and medical offices, insurance companies, and hospitals. These individuals can also take the certified professional coder exam. Learners can pursue their degrees on-campus or through a flexible online format.
Average Net Price: $9,478