In 2023, MRI scans in the United States generally cost between $375 and $2,850. The national average for an MRI scan is $1,325.
It’s important to keep in mind that these costs can differ based on various factors, including the area of the body being scanned and the facility’s location.
Can I negotiate the price of an MRI without insurance?
You can negotiate the price of an MRI without insurance by following these steps:
- Check the bill for errors and dispute any charges that are incorrect or duplicated.
- Research the fair market price for the MRI you need using online tools like the Healthcare Bluebook.
- Ask for the insurance rate or a cash discount from the imaging center.
- Explore assistance programs, discounts, medical payment plans or insurance alternatives that may be available for low-income or uninsured patients.
- Compare prices and quality of different providers and choose the one that offers the best value.
What factors influence the cost of an MRI without insurance?
Some of the factors that influence the cost of an MRI without insurance are:
- Health Insurance Type: MRI cost may fluctuate based on your insurance coverage, with prices ranging from a fixed copay to a fraction of the total bill.
- In-network versus Out-of-network Providers: Service providers within your insurance network charge a pre-agreed rate with the insurance company, often substantially less than out-of-network or uninsured expenses.
- Type of scan: An open MRI is generally less costly than a traditional or enclosed MRI scan, and using contrast increases the expense.
- Body Part Scanned: The price of an MRI can also change depending on the body region. For instance, a brain scan could be pricier than a knee scan due to the need for more intricate analysis by a specialist.
- Service Location (Inpatient vs Outpatient): Cost can be influenced by the site of the scan. A freestanding MRI center usually charges less than a hospital due to lower operational costs.
- Geographical Region: The region of the country where you live can affect the cost of an MRI.
- Sedation: Those with claustrophobia might need a sedative, which incurs additional medication charges. The method of sedation required – oral, IV conscious sedation, or general anesthesia – can also influence the costs.
- Radiologist Interpretation: A radiologist’s review and interpretation of your results might carry an additional fee.
Are there any discounted options available for an MRI without insurance?
Yes, there are some discounted options available for an MRI without insurance. Some of them are:
- Using online tools like GoodRx or Radiology Assist to find low-cost providers and compare prices.
- Choosing an open MRI or an MRI without contrast, which are usually cheaper than a closed MRI or an MRI with contrast.
- Paying in cash and asking for a cash discount from the imaging center.
- Looking for freestanding MRI centers rather than hospitals, which tend to have lower overhead costs and fees.
- Applying for financial assistance programs, discounts, or medical payment plans that may be offered by the imaging center or your state.
How much does an MRI of a specific body part cost without insurance?
|Body Part||Price Range|
|General MRI||$400 – $5,700|
|Brain MRI||$1,600 – $8,400|
|Neck MRI||$500 – $11,800|
|Chest MRI||$500 – $7,900|
|Breast MRI||$500 – $10,300|
|Abdominal MRI||$1,600 – $7,600|
|Cervical Spine MRI||$1,400 – $7,600|
|Pelvic MRI||$500 – $7,900|
|Upper Extremity MRI (shoulder, arm, wrist, hand)||$1,050 – $7,000|
|Lower Extremity MRI (foot, ankle, leg, hip)||$975 – $6,300|
|Head MRI||$410 – $6,100|
|Cardiac MRI||$430 – $6,500|
|Bone MRI||$410 – $2,100|