How Much Does An MRI Cost?
An MRI is used by a doctor to look for diseases and other problems in a person’s body. Without insurance, the cost of an MRI scan ranges from $400-$7000. With insurance, the cost of an MRI scan usually ranges between $100 and $300. The cost of the scan is increased by $100-$500 if a contrast solution is needed. In addition, costs will be increased if the patient needs sedation.
The cost of an MRI scan varies per location, what hospital or clinic it is done in and what part of the anatomy is scanned. In the United States, the cost of an MRI scan can vary by hundreds of dollars per state and hospital or clinic. MRI cost in the same city can vary by hundreds of dollars per clinic. Some hospitals offer patients a ten percent discount if the entire cost of the scan was paid in full before the procedure, while other hospitals allow costs to be split into two payments to make it easiest for patients without insurance to afford. An MRI scan is cheaper if it is done at an outpatient clinic than at a hospital.
How Does An MRI Work?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI procedure is done so a doctor can detect disease and other problems inside the patient’s body. An MRI is somewhat like an x-ray as it produces photos of the patient’s bones, organs and soft tissue. However, an MRI does not use ionizing radiation like an x-ray; instead it uses magnetism, radio waves and a computer to produce the pictures. The MRI procedure is painless; however, a mild sedative is given to patients who suffer from claustrophobia, as the MRI machine is very confining. An MRI procedure usually lasts from 10-15 minutes to an hour.
Average Cost Of An MRI
In the United States, without insurance average MRI cost is $1500; however, costs can range from $400-$7000. Average MRI cost with insurance is around $200. Costs vary greatly per location. An MRI scan can be three to five times more expensive at one hospital or MRI facility than another. The average cost of an MRI that uses contrast solution is about $200 more than the average cost of a scan done without contrast solution.
Full Body MRI Cost
A full body MRI is done to detect heart disease, cancer and other serious health problems. Without insurance, in the United States, a full body MRI costs $600-$3000; however, the average cost of a full body MRI is around $1000-$1500. Not all hospitals and clinics have MRI machines capable of doing a full body scan, so patients may have to have the MRI done one body part at a time, or travel to a facility that has an MRI machine that does full body scans. The cost of an MRI scan for the full body that entails the use of contrast solution is $200-$500 more than the cost of a full body scan that does not use contrast solution. With insurance, average full body scan cost is $100-$300, depending on the insurance plan.
Brain MRI Cost
A brain MRI is done to help a doctor diagnose brain tumors, eye and inner ear disorders, stroke, pituitary gland problems, head trauma, severe chronic headaches and other similar head and brain problems. In the United States, brain MRIs cost $1600-$7300 without insurance; however, the average brain MRI costs around $2500. Average costs are highest in New York and Los Angeles, and lowest in Dallas and Phoenix. Brain MRIs are about $300-$400 more expensive if contrast solution is used than if contrast solution is not used. The cost of a brain MRI for people with insurance depends on the insurance coverage; however, most people with insurance spend about $200-$300 on a brain MRI.
Spine MRI Cost
A spine MRI is done so the doctor can look for spinal problems. It is sometimes done after spinal surgery to ensure the surgery worked as planned. In the United States, spine MRIs cost $1400-$6000 without insurance; however, the average cost of an MRI scan on the spine is around $2000. Average spine MRI cost is highest in California and cheapest in Texas. The cost of an MRI scan of the spine is about $200 more if contrast solution is used, than when contrast solution is not used. With insurance, spine MRI cost varies per insurance policy; however, average spine MRI cost with insurance is around $200.
Cardiac MRI Cost
A cardiac MRI is done so the doctor can look for possible problems in the heart and the surrounding area. Without insurance, in the US, a cardiac MRI costs $1600-$5600; however, the national average cost of a cardiac MRI is around $3600. Cardiac MRIs are most expensive in Chicago and Los Angeles, and cheapest in Phoenix and Miami. Cardiac MRIs are about $200 more expensive when contrast solution is used than when it is not used. The cost of a cardiac MRI is around $200-$300 with insurance.
Back MRI Cost
A back MRI is done to help detect infections, tumors, herniated discs and similar problems in the patient’s back. Lower back MRI costs range from $500-$3000 without insurance; however, the average lower back MRI costs around $1400. If contrast solution is used during the MRI, costs can be increased by $100-500. Lower back MRIs for patients with insurance usually cost around $100-$300.
Shoulder MRI Cost
A shoulder MRI is done to check a shoulder for arthritis, bone tumors, torn ligaments or tendons, and other similar problems. In the United States, the cost of an MRI for the shoulder ranges from $1000-$6000; however, the average shoulder MRI costs around $1500. Phoenix and Dallas have the cheapest average cost of an MRI scan for a shoulder, while New York and Los Angeles have the highest. Shoulder MRIs cost about $100 more when contrast solution is used, than when it is not. With insurance, the average cost of an MRI shoulder scan is around $100-$200; however, the cost of an MRI scan for a shoulder varies depending on insurance company and plan.
Knee MRI Cost
A knee MRI is done so a doctor can check the patient’s knee for arthritis, bone tumors, damaged tendons and cartilage, and other similar problems. The cost of an MRI scan for a knee ranges from $800-$2500 without insurance; however, the average cost of an MRI scan for a knee in the United States without insurance is around $2000. A knee MRI costs about $100-$300 more if contrast solution is used, comparably to when it is not used. The cost of an MRI scan for a knee is usually $100-$300 for patients with insurance; however, knee MRI cost varies per insurance company and plan.