How Much Does An MRI Cost

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced medical technology that works to create a digital image of the insides of the human body. MRI can be used to evaluate the nerves, ligaments, muscles, bones, brain, neck, spinal cord, and a lot of other soft tissues in the body to check for any abnormalities, injuries, tumors, and infections.

The cost of MRI tests is usually expensive. This is true because MRI machines are expensive in the first place. Find out the cost of MRI today.

Typical Cost Of An MRI

The typical cost range of an MRI test is $450 to $3,500.

This price includes both the technical and professional fees. Technical fees refer to the cost of the overall procedure such as facility and equipment fees. On the other hand, professional fees refer to the fee paid to the radiologist for interpreting test results.

Factors That Affect The Price Of An MRI

Type of scan. The part of the body that requires the MRI scan can greatly affects the cost of the MRI. For instance, a brain scan usually ranges from $700 to $2,500 while a knee scan usually costs from $600 to $1,700.

Facility. MRIs done in hospitals tend to be more expensive as compared to tests done in independent imaging centers.

Geographical location. The geographical location of the facility where the MRI testing will be done can determine the cost of the procedure.  For instance, the average MRI cost in Orlando, Florida is $2,229 while the average cost in Salt Lake City, Utah is $1,694.

Insurance.  Since MRIs are covered by health insurance plans, insured individuals can pay lower MRI bills. Most insurance coverage plans pay 60 to 80 percent of the total cost of the MRI procedure. Hence, it can be noted that people who do not have insurance are the ones who pay the highest when it comes to MRI tests.

Additional Costs

MRI with contrast is often requested to give better images of specific abnormalities like tumors. When MRIs like this is done, it requires the use of contrast agents. This can be an extra cost of $100 to $300.

People who are claustrophobic may need to be given a mild sedative to keep still during the MRI procedure.

how much does an mri cost
Photo by U.S. Embassy, Manila Philippines

Tips Before You Decide To Undergo MRI

The prices of MRI vary greatly even in facilities in the same city. Hence, you must shop with care especially when speaking of prices. Independent imaging centers usually price the test cheaper as compared to hospitals even when speaking of the same kind of test. With this, you may want to shop around for qualified and licensed imaging centers in your area.

It is important that the facility is not only cheap but must more importantly be safe. It is best to find imaging centers and hospitals that are accredited by the American College of Radiology for both the staff and equipment.

Ask your physician a referral to a good MRI imaging facility. Most doctors know the best facilities that can work for your personal needs such as type of scan and cost of the test.

Understand that not everyone can undergo MRI. Pregnant women and people implanted with defibrillator must not undergo MRI testing.

Talk with your insurance provider regarding the coverage for MRI tests. Even though most health insurance covers MRI costs, it is still best to discuss this with your insurance provider to ask for details about the coverage.

Take note that though MRI appointments are free in hospitals and imaging centers, cancellation can mean a charge of $100 to $700. If you want to avoid this, make sure that you are certain of your schedule when making MRI appointments.

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