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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > MRI

MRI Cost


How Much Does an MRI Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: $20-$100 Copayhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $1,000-$5,000+
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Magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the body. MRIs are used to detect abnormalities, infections, injuries, tumors and other medical problems. In some cases, an MRI can produce clearer images than an X-ray or CT scan. Most MRIs are typically covered by health insurance when deemed medically necessary. If deductibles are met, typical out-of-pocket cost consists of copays of $20-$100 for the doctor visit and for the procedure.

Typical costs:

  • A spinal MRI is used to find various spinal problems, including nerve damage or tumors. It typically costs $1,000-$5,000, depending on the part of the spine being scanned and whether the procedure is performed in a hospital or physician's office.
  • A head MRI creates detailed images of the brain and surrounding nerve tissue to detect neurological diseases or disorders. It typically costs about $1,000-$5,500 or more, depending on the complexity of the condition being monitored and whether the procedure is performed in a hospital or physician's office.
  • A cardiac MRI, which uses still or moving pictures of the heart and major blood vessels to diagnose coronary disease and other ailments, is considered a key test in assessing heart function. It typically costs about $1,000-$5,000, depending on the complexity of the condition being investigated, including a $100-$200 doctor's fee.
  • A pelvic MRI is used to diagnose or monitor various types of pelvic diseases or to clarify results from other tests. It typically costs $1,000-$5,000, depending on the complexity of the condition being investigated and whether the procedure is performed in a hospital or physician's office.
  • An open MRI is wider than an enclosed MRI and is often recommended for obese patients, those who struggle with claustrophobia, or patients whose joints are being examined. An open MRI typically costs about the same as a conventional MRI, about $1,000-$5,000, depending on the parts of the body being examined.
  • An upright MRI allows patients to be scanned while standing or sitting, which can be helpful in diagnosing certain conditions. An upright MRI typically costs about the same as a conventional MRI, about $1,000-$5,000, depending on the parts of the body being examined.
What should be included:
  • Prior to the scan, the patient will need to remove any jewelry or clothing containing metal. Once the MRI technologist has positioned the patient, the patient will be asked to try to remain as still as possible. The scan typically lasts 30-60 minutes, but may take longer. The MRI technologist will be able to forecast how long the imaging will take ahead of time.
  • WebMD offers a detailed overview of MRIs[1] .
Additional costs:
  • An estimated 5%-10% of patients need a contrast solution, or special dye injected into the body, to further enhance the scan. The solution typically costs about $100-$300 extra.
Discounts:
  • Some diagnostic imaging centers offer discounted prices of about $380-$560, depending on geographic location. However, these centers typically cater to patients who pay cash and do not use health insurance.
Shopping for an mri:
  • The American College of Radiology has a search tool[2] to help patients find accredited hospitals, clinics or health centers in their area that perform MRIs.
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

Page 2 of 2   -   << Previous   1   2   

Left knee MRI w/contrast
Amount: $1,064.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Carol Karp in Charlotte, NC.Posted: June 2nd, 2015 01:06PM
Medical Center: Novant HealthInsurance: BCBS SC
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 1064.00
Dr. sent me to have MRI on my left knee with contrast because of pain. Hospital charged 7,777.92 for all in. Insurance paid 6,713.92. Why is an MRI so expensive? I've paid a lot less a few years back. This is outrageous!!! Why do we let them get away with this?????
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cervical mri w/o contrast
Amount: $689.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: oa in orlando in winter park, FL.Posted: May 17th, 2015 04:05PM
Medical Center: florida hospitalInsurance: umr
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 1000.00 deductible
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Knee MRI w/o Contrast
Amount: $2,140.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: No Mercy At Mercy Hospital! in Berryville, AR.Posted: April 3rd, 2015 08:04AM
Medical Center: Mercy Hospital Berryville ARInsurance: UHC
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 1502
Was quoted $700 by the hospital upon arrival. Was billed $2,140, with a $644 reduction by the insurance agreement, leaving a $1502 balance, more than twice what we were quoted. Their only answer? It was "just an estimate", and pay in full or we turn you over to collection. They tried to say the $700 "estimate" was based on our 20% co-pay, but that doesn't compute, as 20% of the fee charged would have been only around $400! Our insurance company "health care cost estimator" shows we should have been charged between $731 and $981 for the procedure. Note the year is off, as the site only let us select 2014, not 2015.
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need MRI for Knee
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Jeannie Steigler in Redlands, CA.Posted: February 18th, 2015 09:02AM
Medical Center: Redlands CaliforniaInsurance: CDPHP
my daughter is out of network. We have an HMO in Troy NY but she is a student in California.
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Abdominal MRI with contrast
Amount: $450.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Daniweb in Irvine, CA.Posted: January 21st, 2015 04:01PM
Medical Center: Memorial Care ImagingInsurance:
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: No Insurance
I'm a 62 year old woman who needed the above procedure. I cannot pay the least expensive insurance at $633.00 per month so I opted not to have health insurance. Memorial Care was professional, reasonably priced and did an excellent job. Good luck to all.
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Total Rip off place.. lied lied lied
Amount: $2,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: c.gregson in west covina, CA.Posted: December 14th, 2014 01:12PM
Medical Center: San gabriel diagnostic imagingInsurance:
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 2000.00
This is a scam place they said they got a clear picture i asked before i left after fifteen min i reach the physical therapy office and not it was clear they wanted to charge me agian and come back same thing agian lied to may face and then said i was difficult. so i guess my scan is not clear but im still getting surgery for some reason the person reading it said i was fine .. they made phoney bill saying my scan was billed on the same day .. pieced together a paper to make it my finacial responsiblity i never signed that paper it was fraud.. so i contend how would they know if they charge 2000.oo and give you no complete clean scan when do realize that the machine is broken.. i didnt move and they forgot me under the machine they were haveing a party the first time ..90 plus for an elbow i say something fishy if you charge someone that amount of money and not produce what i came for correctly something off..
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Cervical MRI
Amount: $6,500.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Floored in MS in Gulfport, MS.Posted: November 7th, 2014 12:11AM
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: $3,500
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MRI of head, no die- united health care would not cover!!!
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Dr Rice at Beaver Medical in Redlands, CA.Posted: July 4th, 2014 08:07PM
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 0
Migraines for 19 years. Neorologist said I needed MRI. Insurance (united health care) just came back saying they will not cover the MRI of the head and my MRI came back abnormal! What the #%£!! Insurance needs to be held accountable for our health care.
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MRI FH Outpatient/CT FH Outpatient
Amount: $319.80 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Janie D in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: March 8th, 2014 06:03AM
Medical Center: Froedtert Medical CollegeInsurance: United Healthcare
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 319.80/$162
MRI Amount billed by hospital $9025.82!!!!!
January 2014
CT FH- outpatient - billed $5146.50
Patient responsibility $162
This is absolutely insane!
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Head and Neck and Lower Lumbar MRI- 2 back to back
Amount: $1,125.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Paul Thomas in Lebanon, OR.Posted: December 4th, 2013 10:12AM
Medical Center: Northwest MRIInsurance: Self Pay
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 1,125.00
I had back pain and no insurance. Longview WA wanted $6000.00 plus a charge for reading the two MRI's. I drove 300 miles round trip to Lebanon OR and saved $5000.00 plus.
No script needed, make appointment and let them do the work. Found out what I needed to find out. Good place to go. They raised their price a little but are still the best price around.
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Lumbar MRI in Bozeman, MT
Amount: $1,600.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: K.W. in Bozeman, MT.Posted: September 23rd, 2013 01:09PM
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: $161
I went in expecting to pay 20% of $1600. Hospital was straightforward and gave me a bill before the procedure in case I wanted to opt out. My insurance didn't allow them to charge $1600, only $850,so I paid the 20% of $850. This sounded like an unbelievable deal to me but it was true! TGF good insurance!
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MRI Self Pay Option
Amount: $500.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Jim S. in Overland Park, KS.Posted: February 7th, 2012 04:02PM
Medical Center: Diagnostic Radiology InstituteInsurance: NONE!
This is a great place that really was a life saver. Needed a lumbar MRI. Had no insurance but my doctor gave me a script. Called this place and was amazed at the price versus what I would have paid had insurance.
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Brain scan w/ contrast, took 45mins **UPDATE**
Amount: $3,300.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Audra in milwaukee, WI.Posted: February 6th, 2012 11:02AM
Medical Center: st. Lukes AuroraInsurance: Allegiance
Our insurance gave us an EOB yesterday the MRI is going to cost us $2700.00 and the contrast dye was $600.00 so in total a 45 minute brain MRI with contrast dye at Aurora St. Lukes in Milwaukee, WI is $3300.00 with Allegiance Medical Insurance.
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MRI - Brain Scan with contrast, took 45 mins
Amount: $5,952.88 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Audra in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: January 24th, 2012 04:01PM
Medical Center: St. Lukes AuroraInsurance: Allegiance
Husband went in for an MRI due to a suspected Pituitary Gland Tumor. (tumor was found although it was too small to require surgery; another MRI is scheduled in a year to see if it grows.) The total charge of an MRI with Contrast injection of the Brain was almost 6k. However, our health insurance has put off the process claims until they receive requested notes for the MRI service; I don't know why they "need" the notes but whatever... I don't know what the cost is going to be after our Insurance pays it's share. I'll probably update this. when we finally recieve an EOB of what exactly our out of pocket is going to be.

I just wanted to let any of you in the Milwaukee Area without insurance going in for a similar procedure that out of pocket NO insurance for an MRI is $5952.88 good luck out there to anyone who is need of reading this.
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MRI KNEES --RIPPED OFF IN NJ
Amount: $5,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: sad in nj in hackettstown, NJ.Posted: January 4th, 2012 07:01PM
Medical Center: HACKETTSTOWN DIAGNOSTIC IMAGINGInsurance: BC/BS
I was having surgery on my knees for osteoarthritis, my MD ordered both knees and sent me to the outpatient center at the Hospital. Got the bill for MRI $10,000.00 for both knees and to read the films another $2500. My wife worked for a facility a few years before and was floored..

My insurance paid $1500 for the reading and $3000 for the imaging with the explanation that they paid 70% of Usual and Customary based on $1500 per knee and I was responsable for 30% of that. When I called and questioned the bill they told me they never received the checks that I dropped off personally to the billing department and my insurance reissued the checks. So, now they are saying that I owe the $7,000.00 balance?? How do I fight this. I checked around and MRI joints range from $1200 to $2000 in my area. This place is a rip off and he owns all the facilities in my town.
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MRI no insurance, Self Pay
Amount: $500.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Al in DFW in Dallas, TX.Posted: October 18th, 2011 03:10PM
Medical Center: Gateway Imaging in DallasInsurance: none
No Insurance, Self pay. $500. MRI of my brain for pituitary gland tumor. rnYou have to shop around and not use major medical centers. MRI through hospital would of been $7500.
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Emergency Abdomen MRI
Amount: $330,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: TPDunn in York, PA.Posted: August 31st, 2011 08:08AM
Medical Center: York, PaInsurance: BCBS of TX.
The insurance paid all be $9,000.00. Yes the numbers are correct and I am questioning it thru BCBS of TX. After reviewing some websites, this bill may have been for ALL the MRIs the Hospital did on that Friday night.
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MRI Over Priced
Amount: $7,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Sand Blaster in Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire, WI.Posted: July 15th, 2011 04:07AM
Medical Center: St Josephs Hospital and Medical xray conInsurance:
My Podiatrist requested an MRI of my ankle (2 views)
The bill before Ins. 'discounts' was;
St. Joesephs Hospital (procedure): $6,127.06
(3126.56 + 3000.50)
Medical xray consultants (read MRI): $965.00
(474.30 + 490.70)
My "responsibility" after Ins. is;
Procedure: $1,090.52
Read MRI: $197.82
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MRI
Amount: $7,234.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: annie arch in LITTLETON, CO.Posted: June 20th, 2011 09:06AM
Medical Center: SWEDISH MED CENTRER DENVERInsurance: UHC
HAD A MRI FOR CANCER THEY TOLD ME IT WOULD BE ABOUT 4000 TOTAL.IT TOOK 20 MINUTES!IN,INSURANCE WIPED DISCOUNT OFF 2500 THEN AGAIN 2530 THEN INSURANCE PAID1900,I OWED 350$However I ran the numbers nothing would make sense.They are ripping us off!
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Emergency Room Visit - Outrageous Cost
Amount: $22,661.11 not covered by insurance
Posted by: BernJ in Richardson, TN.Posted: May 22nd, 2011 08:05AM
Medical Center: Medical City DallasInsurance: Yes
Cheaper to Die. I was admitted to the emergency room due to symptoms of a heart-attack, unable to communicate for approx. 4 hours and therefore feel I was taken advantage of---during the testing. Even more scarier was I do believe they mis-diagnosed after doing research, I think I had a blood clot (TIA) not transit global amnesia. Anyway upon receiving my bill with the testing and approx. 7 hours of observation it cost more than I paid for my vehicle. I almost had a heart attack when I received the bill and even questioned if it was mine, due to the fact when released another patients medical info was attached to mine. Just blood work was $3782.45, I'm 59 nine years old and rather fit, query why they checked me for drugs such as cocaine/meth/barb (drugs I probably would never recognized let alone use). Unbelievable!!!!! MRI was $12,207.95. I'm retired and have decent ins. but it scares me to death because I have no idea what my ins. co. will pay and whatever remains I will be responsible for---and yet those who are not even citizens can go in have babies, get sewn up, then leave and never pay. This is America or at least I thought it was. I've worked hard all my life and paid my taxes and hopefully have been a solid citizens, but I'm fed up with our political party in Washington always wanting to give handout to those who don't even belong here. It would be wonderful if someone had the guts to step-up to the plate and control these cost, it seems hospitals can charge whatever because there are no guidelines/rules. In addition to the above I was charged over $700.00 just for the ambulance service, hospital is approx. 12 minutes away. One pill cost $184.00 this is criminal. Sad and Sicker than before!!!! Please advise if there is any recourse in this situation.
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Back MRI
Amount: $7,190.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Darryl in Nashville, TN.Posted: March 22nd, 2011 12:03PM
Medical Center: Skyline Medical Nashville TNInsurance: Southern Benefits
Outrageous cost. I had asked about the cost when I went in and was assured it was under 3k the entire system is broken, I am communicating with my insurance carrier now, the hospital will do nothing.
I do not mind paying a fair cost but a 20 minute test should in no way cost 7k. If they ran it around the clock the machine will generate 2 Billion per year at that rate. I understand the machines cost about 1 million. This is just a Total Outrageous Ripoff. There is no way to justify such actions by a medical facility, these are supposed to be people that we can place our trust in. THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS BROKEN.
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Lumbar
Amount: $797.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Ms Sherri in Decatur, GA.Posted: March 11th, 2011 03:03PM
Medical Center: Dekalb MedicalInsurance: MVP Healthcard
Had not met $2400 deductible
Cost to me was $797
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Abdominal MRI with contrast
Amount: $522.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Daivd in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: March 5th, 2011 12:03PM
Medical Center: Ceader Sinai HospitalInsurance: Anthem PPO
MRI with contrast $6420
Discount $1200
Insurance paid $4700
Coinsurance $ 520
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MRI, Upper Extr Joint W/O Contrast
Amount: $1,223.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Mark Damon in Portland, OR.Posted: February 14th, 2011 09:02PM
Medical Center: Siker Imaging, LLCInsurance: Blue Shield Blue Cross
1223.00 Total Cost
629.19 Insurance paid
483.52 Patient Balance
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Lumbar MRI
Amount: $400.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Kevin from GA in Norcross, GA.Posted: February 2nd, 2011 07:02AM
Medical Center: Greater Georgia ImagingInsurance: none
Had an MRI done here. Really nice people, no wait and the results were ready the same day!
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Brain Scan
Amount: $485.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: M. Bender in Lebanon, OR.Posted: January 8th, 2011 08:01AM
Medical Center: Advanced ImagingInsurance: None
Recently opened Low Cost MRI center to assist those with no insurance. Routine MRI scans are done with no waiting for $485. It's about time somebody is doing something about the high cost of medial care! Highly recommend
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External Resources:
  1.  www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/magnetic-resonance-imaging-mri
  2.  www.acr.org/Quality-Safety/Accreditation/Accredited-Facility-Search
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