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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

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Right shoulder with contrast
Amount: $1,176.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: a user in Camp Hill, PA.Posted: October 15th, 2019 02:10PM
Medical Center: GeisingerInsurance: High mark PPO Blue
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 1176.00
Almost $6000.00 all in! I honestly believe these costs are arbitrary!
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Breast mri w and wout contrast fye
Amount: $1,065.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Trying to stay healthy in Chesterfield, VA.Posted: July 11th, 2019 05:07PM
Medical Center: Chesterfield ImagingInsurance: Anthem pos
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 1065
High rish for breast cancer. Yearly screening should be 1 mammo and 1 breast mri. Copay for mri is 300. Had no idea i would be getting mri with contrast and the cost of contrast was billed seperately. Insurance said intravenous drugs are not covered until deductible is hit at 750. Paid 300 at time of mri and never told of additional cost. Insurance says i need to call with codes prior to tests to find out my costs. When you call they are vague, leaving open the possibility that you will owe for their error.
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MRI - It pays to shop around and negotiate
Amount: $450.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: William Kisse in Rockville, MD.Posted: April 18th, 2019 04:04AM
Medical Center: Washington Open MRIInsurance: Self-Pay
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 450.00
This is a self-pay cost for an MRI of the lumbar spine.
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Brain scan with and without Contrast
Amount: $5,606.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: lvkriz in Iowa City, IA.Posted: March 22nd, 2019 01:03PM
Medical Center: UIHCInsurance: Medica
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 2943.15
Medica negotiated down the price by $2662.85 but since I $7,200 deductible I still have to pay and I have been paying - most of retirement money goes to pay my medical premiums and what the insurance doesn't cover.
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MRI of Head (Auditory Canals)
Amount: $600.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Hardware in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: January 9th, 2019 04:01PM
Medical Center: Smart Choice MRIInsurance: Anthem BCBS
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 0
My ENT ordered a MRI of my internal auditory canals to make sure my tinnitus was not related to some sinister issue. I live a few miles from an Aurora hospital and called to request a quote. They were a bit defensive and it took them 2-3 days to call back with a quote of about $2,800. I ended up going to Smart Choice MRI in Milwaukee - I got in for the scan within 48 hours and the total charge - including the radioligist fee was $600. State of the art equipment and they results are read by radiologists at the Cleveland Clinic - a top rated institution.
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Mri any part of the body $350
Amount: $350.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: delila in Elgin, IL.Posted: February 9th, 2018 10:02PM
Medical Center: www.parksideimaging.comInsurance:
They charge $350 for any part of the body. This price is for patients that do not have insurance
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Lower Lumber MRI
Amount: $495.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Barb D in Uniontown, PA.Posted: July 30th, 2017 07:07PM
Medical Center: CherrytreeInsurance: None
I have no insurance and paid the full amount out of pocket. I think I got a better deal than most who have commented on here. Seems a lot of the copays were more than my total cost. My local hospital wanted over $2000. It really pays to shop around. The medical costs in this country are rapeing us. I need surgery that could cost up to $50,000, and had to borrow money to pay for the MRI since we are just above the annual income to get any help but still unable to purchase it for me since it is not affordable for both me and my husband to have it. So,No surgery for me,will just have to learn to live with the conic pain.
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Ankle MRI
Amount: $1,400.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Lynelle in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: May 9th, 2017 06:05PM
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: Total cost $6,350
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Recommend before surgery, cost was not disclosed. Cost $1000 more than the doctor and facility charge for a 2 hour surgery on both feet at Milwaukee surgical center. Feeling shocked and ripped off, but no one will discuss the outrageous cost, not Children's, not United Healthcare! Feeling disgusted with them both!!
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Cost of MRI
Amount: $11,500.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Donna C R in Shenandoah, TX.Posted: April 24th, 2017 08:04AM
Medical Center: Vision Park Premier Imaging CenterInsurance: United Health Care
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 11,500
The original cost was 47,000.00! I just got the bill a year later and because it was 'out of network' and my referring doctor didn't tell me and then I didn't get permission, that was the cost.
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MRI Brain W/O Contrast
Amount: $277.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: JulieHouston in Houston, TX.Posted: March 4th, 2017 10:03AM
Medical Center: Memorial Hermann HospitalInsurance: Community Health Choice
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 277
Per hospital bill, total charge $ 3,565; insurance covered $3,288.
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Brain MRI Pituatary Gland
Amount: $3,600.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Lee ee in Winston-Salem, NC.Posted: January 12th, 2017 05:01PM
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: $1200
$600 deductible plus 20%
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Whole dang spine, neck to lumbar region
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Deborah Hill in Green Valley, AZ.Posted: December 2nd, 2016 04:12AM
Medical Center: Rapid sound Imaging, Green Valley, AZInsurance: Medicaid
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: $0.00
After reading these comments I feel like an asz for complaining about my health insurance. I have early onset osteoarthritis (for 15 years now) and bone spurs on my spine that are pinching nerves in my neck. This has been causing me constant muscle spasms in my neck and upper back for the last 8 years and I had to stop working as a home remodeler due to the pain. Thank you Jan Brewer for expanding Medicaid!
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Ankle MRI
Amount: $368.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Drew622 in Charleston, WV.Posted: November 18th, 2016 07:11AM
Medical Center: CAMCInsurance: HealthSmart-City of Charleston
I personally think that I got a really good deal on my son's MRI. it was a $2,316.00 service and I am only paying $368.
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MRI
Amount: $7,731.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: SUSAN 245 in Louisville, KY.Posted: April 19th, 2016 01:04PM
Medical Center: Norton HealthcareInsurance: Statefarm
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 7,731.00
To be fair. After hearing the amount I told state farm to hold up on paying. I thought for sure it was a mistake. I know they happen all the time. I was a UR Nurse for a hospital in 1994. I reviewed Medicare and Medicaid charts and the fees for the Gov. in 1990's. This is out right robbery. This needs to be addressed. It has been happening for years. Why hasn't someone done something. We knew we had this problem years ago. It is a contest on who can charge the most. Hospital or insurance co. We are the ones loosing this battle. We are the ones paying for this.. When will it stop and who will step up and do something. Oh and just because you have insurance does not mean you are covered. In 1996 I was injured. Had 3 insurance co. None of them paid. Lost home of 25 years. Because you have insurance does not mean you are covered. It is the biggest scam we have going. Now we have a law on having both car and health insurance. But we are still paying for it... all of it...
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MRI knee w/o contrast
Amount: $488.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: DarlaD in Charleston, SC.Posted: March 11th, 2016 07:03AM
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: 321
I have BC/BS Stsndard Option. I have a $350 deductible and a 15% copay in network. My insurance covers 85% of the allowable in network cost of the MRI after I meet my $350 deductible. The MRI of my knee had a CPT Code of 73721. The allowable cost was $488. Ask your provider to give you the CPT Code ahead of the procedure and then call your insurance to find out the benefit. Most providers will take cash around the same amount of their negotiated insurance payment if you are uninsured. You have to ask, "How much for cash?"
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MRI Heel
Amount: $395.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Zumba lady in Cincinnati, OH.Posted: January 27th, 2016 09:01AM
Medical Center: Advanced Patient ImagingInsurance: None
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: Blue Cross
Went to Cincinnati Oh from Nashville, They were great, My scan and reading was $ 395. Cant beat the service
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MRI of right knee
Amount: $2,418.70 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Barb/Santa Clarita in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: January 20th, 2016 11:01AM
Medical Center: Advanced Imaging Center, Inc.Insurance: $1679.57
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: $739.13
I went in and filled out the paperwork but was told I would have to come back in an hour because they were backed up. They did not call me but said they did. The two male technicians were very nice. Was surprised it cost so much for the MRI.
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Abdominal MRI with contrast
Amount: $400.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Crystal moubray in San Antonio, TX.Posted: November 30th, 2015 11:11AM
1643.00 total cost
1243.00 covered in BCBS
400.00 coininsurance
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Joseph Assmus
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Joseph Assmus in San Diego, CA.Posted: October 1st, 2015 10:10PM
Medical Center: Sharp Reese Steeley (SRS)Insurance: Sharp HealthPlan
Amount Not Covered by Insurance: $0
I've always had perfect experiences at the Miramar SRS Imagaing center. It's all based upon the 'Sharp Experience' where each and every Sharp employee aims at providing you with the BEST healthcare experience. And at SRS Miramar, they accomplish just that. As a brain cancer patien, I go there annually and actually look forward to seeing my pals there. (As a former sharp employee, I admit my bias).
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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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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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