Employment VS Contract Work As A Medical Coder – How Do I Decide?


Once you have completed your medical coding course and gained some experience as a medical coder you will run into a problem. A good problem however! You will have the optioning of continuing as a regular W-2 employee making a fairly good hourly wage likely. Or you may choose a different path the path as a contract employee or 10-99. You may even choose to do a combination of both working a part-time contract position to supplement your regular work. Whichever path you choose to take they both have their benefits and draw back.

Employee W-2

As a standard employee you may work remotely but most likely you will be an in-house coder. This means you will have to travel to a physical location. Although this seems unappealing this actually comes with many benefits. Unfortunately though the flexibility does suffer with this option. Often you will be held closer to a 9-5 schedule still affording some flexibility but will need to report to your manage for long absences. As an employed medical coder you will enjoy the many benefits that other W-2 employees in other fields do. In most instances insurance options are available to you at a reduced rate, you can contribute to a 401k often times with employer contributions. You can choose your tax deductions up front so your taxes are taken out upfront. A huge benefit working in house is you have many resources for questions just a few feet away, your fellow medical coders! This is the route most coders take and far as benefits go is quite well rounded.

Contracted 10-99

As a contracted employee the first major benefit is you will for the most part ALWAYS work from you home office! This mean you have no commute so you will not only save time but money because your “work” will be less than 20 feet away! These positions are typically extremely flexible they do not ask you a schedule the work is simply there are you are required to complete it with a typical three day lag time. The compensation you enjoy is amazing. Typically it capped only by how much you’re willing to work! There are draw backs however. You are not taxed up front it is up to you to set aside money for taxes. This can be challenging for some to not spend it all and face a large IRS bill with little saved. More often than not it is up to you to get your own health insurance and retirement options.

As you can see both sides have merit. The easiest way to decide is by looking at your own circumstances. Asking yourself questions such as do I need health insurance or am I prepared to pay the higher rate. Am I disciplined enough to save for taxes? Do I stay on task well without having someone to hold me accountable? An honest self-evaluation will set you up for the success you’re looking for.

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