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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Orthopedics and Injuries > Bone Density Test

Bone Density Test Cost


How Much Does a Bone Density Test Cost?

 
average costWith Insurance: Copays of $10-$30 or more, or Coinsurancehigh costWithout Insurance: Typically $150-$250
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A bone density test is used to check for signs of osteoporosis, a disease most common in menopausal and post-menopausal women, which causes bones to weaken and can cause serious fractures.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of a bone density test, including a doctor consultation to explain the results, is about $150 to $250. For example, Advanced Radiology Imaging Associates[1] in Florida charges $150 and PENRAD Imaging in Colorado charges $200.
  • A bone density test typically is covered by Medicare and private health insurance for patients at risk for osteoporosis or over a certain age. However, plans vary, so it is important to check ahead of time.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, the typical out-of-pocket cost would be a copay of $10 to $30 or coinsurance of between 10 and 40 percent of the total amount. For example, this BlueCross[2] plan allows a bone density test every two years for patients over 40 for a $25 copay. And with this Coventry[3] PPO plan, the patient pays 20 percent for an in-network provider, or 40 percent for out-of-network.
What should be included:
  • The most recommended type of bone density testing is Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), a 15-minute test in which a machine is used to measure the density of bones in certain areas of the body, usually the spine and hip, and sometimes the forearm. The
  • Mayo Clinic[4] has an overview of bone density tests.
Additional costs:
  • For patients found to have low bone density, the doctor might prescribe a medication, vitamin supplements and follow-up tests.
Discounts:
  • It is sometimes possible to find discounts on bone density tests, especially during May, which is National Osteoporosis Prevention Month. For example, OBG-1[5] offers a 20 percent discount that month.
  • Bone density scans that just test the bone in the wrist or arm or foot are offered in some drugstores for about $30 or even for free at many women's health fairs. However, these smaller machines generally are not considered as accurate as those that test the spine and hip and definitely should not be used to monitor treatment results for patients who already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Shopping for a bone density test:
  • According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, people who should consider having a bone density test include any women 65 or older and men 70 or older; postmenopausal women who have stopped taking estrogen therapy or hormone therapy; and postmenopausal women under 65 and men under 70 with one or more risk factors for osteoporosis, which include being small and thin, having a diet low in calcium, a lack of vitamin D, smoking or heavy alcohol consumption. Any men or women over 50 who break a bone also should consider a test.
  • Bone density tests do expose the patient to a tiny amount of radiation, but are considered safe and non-invasive.
  • A doctor usually prescribes a bone density test, which typically is performed at a hospital or radiology center. To get a test, visit your family doctor or gynecologist. Or, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists[6] offers a doctor finder by state.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Bone Density Test
Amount: $1,432.00
Posted by: KJR in Jacksonville, FL.Posted: July 6th, 2015 11:07AM
Medical Center: Baptist SountInsurance: Assurant Health
This test was done at a women's center within a hospital. My insurance company adjusted the payment down to $1202.88. I have not met my deductible yet so I have to pay amount! Two years ago I had the test done at Precision Imaging for $183 and when I ran my insurance company's cost estimator, it says a bone density test in my area should be about $180. What I have learned is DO NOT have any tests done at a hospital or a medical center. They totally overcharge patients.
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Overpriced at Cleveland Clinic
Amount: $1,137.00
Posted by: MBR in Solon, OH.Posted: June 2nd, 2015 11:06AM
Medical Center: Cleveland ClinicInsurance: Anthem
I was billed $1,137.00 and my insurance paid $450.00, leaving me with $687.00 out-of-pocket. If I DIDN'T have insurance, I would have paid $285.00 according to their sliding scale. I contested and they didn't budge. I got penalized for having insurance! I was told "if you can afford insurance, you can afford the scan."
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DEXA charges
Amount: $42.20
Posted by: Chromo X in mountain view, CA.Posted: May 28th, 2015 02:05PM
Medical Center: PAMFInsurance: UHC
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Bone desity test
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: scotting in Champaign, IL.Posted: March 13th, 2015 09:03PM
Medical Center: Christi ClinicInsurance: Blue Cross& Hlth Alliance
It was recommended that I have the test after breaking my foot at my job at another hospital. The test took about five minutes and was administered by a young person who appeared to have just graduated from some sort of medical program. I never saw an MD, only the bill. It was paid for in full with my credit card. It will cost every dollar I make for the next eight weeks at my part time job.
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Bone Density Test
Amount: $2,954.00
Posted by: Eckler in Mansfield, TX.Posted: January 13th, 2014 06:01PM
Medical Center: Elite View Imaging LLCInsurance: Coventry
I paid $270 per year in 2011 and 2012 -- now this Imaging place has billed my insurance over $3000 and I am appealing it. How can it go up 10 times over a year??
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Bone Density Test Cost
Amount: $15.00
Posted by: wiseriverman in Lynbrook, NY.Posted: November 5th, 2013 11:11PM
Medical Center: Private DoctorInsurance: GHI
I had the bone density test today and I had to pay a $15 co pay.
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bone density test
Amount: $160.00
Posted by: fatty in flint, MI.Posted: July 19th, 2013 05:07PM
Medical Center: RMIInsurance: bcbs
Results and test $160 total.
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Bone density
Amount: $327.00
Posted by: Carolyn758 in Sugar Land, TX.Posted: May 17th, 2013 08:05AM
Medical Center: MethodistInsurance: UHC
I may owe more this is my estimated amount. rnHealth care costs are crazy. rnI really do not know what my final cost will be.
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Bone density
Amount: $245.00
Posted by: SKS in Canton, OH.Posted: March 8th, 2013 04:03AM
Medical Center: AtriumInsurance: Aultcare
$195 for test, $50, to read results. Insurance paid $97.80 for test and $44.69 for reading. Balance is $102.51
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I was just quoted $512
Amount: $512.00
Posted by: cbgb in Vernon, CT.Posted: October 31st, 2012 03:10PM
Medical Center: efferson RadiologyInsurance:
havent met myu deductible yet as job switched insurance Sept. so I get to pay in full... or dont get it done
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Costs
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: Esther in Akron, OH.Posted: March 8th, 2012 07:03AM
Medical Center: Summa HealthInsurance: Covered but under the deductible amount
I do not understand why it is so high vs what is stated above?
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Bone Density Test
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: BeachBeauty in Rochelle, IL.Posted: November 19th, 2010 03:11PM
Medical Center: Insurance: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
I'm not sure the prices in this article are accurate. I had to have a bone density test and the fees were horribly high. Also, my insurance would not help pay since I'm in my twenties. I'm due for another bone density test next month and I will have to skip it because it's just way too expensive. (I have osteopenia as a result of my past struggle with anorexia.)
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Bone Density Tests
Amount: $1,508.00
Posted by: Gale Segers in Mountain Center, CA.Posted: April 6th, 2010 12:04PM
Medical Center: Eisenhower MedicalInsurance: United Health
Not sure, but I am going to find out. They billed my insurance $1508.00 My insurance says they only cover $1100.84. Which is my portion since my deductable has not been met.
IS THIS POSSIBLE?
According to your article it should be less than $250.00.
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Bone Density Test
Amount: $570.00
Posted by: bjwalker in Dallas, TX.Posted: September 17th, 2009 08:09AM
Medical Center: Hampton ClinicInsurance: none
Paid $120.00 for bone densitytest. 11 months later was informed I had an outstanding balance of $450.00 for doctor's fee. I was told that two statements had been mailed to me, which I never received, plus I was not informed by anyone that the test cost this amount. I was very shocked !
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External Resources:
  1.  www.aria-images.com/services.html
  2.  hr.ua.edu/benefits/HRhealthplanchanges.html
  3.  chcdelaware.coventryhealthcare.com/
  4.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/bone-density-test/MY00304
  5.  www.obg-1.com/news/index.cfm?fq=21
  6.  www.acog.org/About_ACOG/Find_an_Ob-Gyn
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