Medical technology has come a long way to help doctors diagnose and treat patients more efficiently and accurately. One such technology that has paved the way for medical science and engineering to reach greater heights is the MRI machine.
The MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine scans images of the body to give clear pictures of what the structure looks like from within. While this technology has helped doctors diagnose and treat many patients, getting an MRI scan can cost a lot of money.
Especially if you don’t have insurance, this procedure, although a big necessity, can be a burden for you, however, many factors determine the exact cost of an MRI scan which we will discuss in the article below.
We’ll also look at insurance policies that cover the charges of such medical procedures.
What Is An MRI?
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan is a medical test that uses magnetic waves to capture body images and produce clear images for a system. These images can then be used for diagnostic purposes by your healthcare practitioner to evaluate and determine the condition of your health.
These tests are an essential part of the diagnosis for doctors because doctors can not only evaluate but also determine and catch the early onset of various illnesses and diseases. This helps prevent health conditions that can be quite fatal for the patient.
Your doctor will order an MRI scan during your consultation as part of the process to help accurately diagnose diseases you might be suffering from.
What Are The Factors That Determine The Cost Of An MRI?
A lot of factors are taken into consideration before coming up with the total cost of your medical exam. Some of the common ones are mentioned below:
Where Is Your Hospital Or Clinic Located?
If you are getting your test done at a private clinic or an outpatient facility, the fees will be much less than in an in-patient facility like a hospital. This is because these places require more money to run, so the costs are also higher.
Additionally, the geographical location of the service provider also affects the cost of the MRI. Medical tests like MRI scans differ significantly in terms of cost depending on your state or city.
What Kind Of Insurance Policy Do You Have?
This plays a significant role in determining the cost of your MRI because some insurance policies cover the charges for such procedures in full while others pay for at least half or more than half of the total cost.
This dramatically lowers out-of-pocket expenses and helps you save more money for your medical needs.
What Kind Of MRI Scan Are You Getting?
There are different types of MRI scans, each at a different rate. Generally, open MRIs are much cheaper than fast MRI scans. If you get an MRI scan with contrast, it can also incur a much higher rate.
Is Your Provider Part Of The Network Or Out Of Network?
The charges incurred through in-network providers are significantly lower compared to out-of-network providers. This means that the expenses that you have to pay out of your pocket are lower.
Which Part Of The Body Are You Getting Scanned?
The part of your body that is getting scanned is also a significant factor in determining your overall procedure cost. In most cases, brain MRI scans are much more expensive than MRI scans for other parts of your body, such as the knee.
This is because scanning the brain requires more analysis; plus, you might need a specialized doctor for this purpose.
In some cases, you might be prescribed some medication or sedatives to undergo this test. For such instances, you will have to pay for the extra expense. Besides this, you also have to pay separately for the radiologist who is administering your test.
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What Is The Cost Of An MRI Without Insurance?
Getting an MRI scan can be expensive if you don’t have insurance. However, these charges are subject to change depending on various factors.
One of the most defining factors for the cost of getting an MRI scan is your insurance policy provider and whether or not you have an insurance policy under your belt. If you do not have a good health insurance policy, you’ll pay much more than those already insured.
According to Radiology Assist, you should expect to pay about $2000 for an MRI test if you don’t have insurance coverage for your medical treatment.
You will be charged differently depending on which body part you are supposed to take an MRI scan for.
Here’s a breakdown of different parts of the body and how much this costs:
- Brain MRI scans cost anywhere from $225 to $1,400
- Knee MRI scans cost about $375 to $800
- Arm or wrist MRI scans cost anywhere from $350 to $850
- Shoulder MRI scans cost anywhere from $375 to $850
- Abdominal MRI scans costs are between $550 to $4,500
- Back MRI scans costs start from $1400 and up.
What Is The Cost Of An MRI With Insurance?
Although the cost of an MRI scan can be significantly lowered when you have health insurance, the bill will stall to anywhere between $500 and $1,000. The actual rate, however, is very subjective and depends on the factors we have discussed above.
The table below shows the average price you might have to pay without insurance, depending on the body part you are getting scanned.
|Body part||Average rate|
|Pelvic||$500 to $7900|
|Bone||$410 to $2100|
|Chest||$500 to $7,900|
|Cervical spine||$1400 to $7600|
|Brain||$1600 to $8400|
|Neck||$500 to $11800|
According to reports, the fair price for an MRI scan with insurance is about $750. But you can lower this cost to a 0 if you are signed up with the right insurance policies.
Your health insurance policy providers typically cover medical tests like MRIs. Note that not all policies promise to cover the total cost of the test. Instead, they might cover a portion of the total cost, and you will have to pay the extra amount.
Or you might get the test covered in full but have to pay the additional charges like the medications and extra facility services.
You might also want to check with your insurer and ensure that they cover your medical procedure or if you require preauthorization so that you don’t end up experiencing any surprises at the end of your medical exam.
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