So you need a medical imaging test, like an MRI or CT scan. What kind of price should you expect?
We’ve written about the many factors that determine prices, such as how much the imaging center charges, how much your insurer agrees to pay, how much cost gets passed to you, and how badly your insurer tries to dodge their share.
But how do you get to an actual number? If you need a CAT scan of your abdomen, should you expect to pay $500? $1,500? When you call for price estimates, how can you know what’s remotely fair?
Websites like Healthcare Bluebook provide pricing data for thousands of different tests and procedures by averaging together millions of insurance claims to determine standard ranges. Healthcare Bluebook then uses this information to determine a “fair price” in each ZIP code.
If you look up the price of a brain MRI with and without contrast in New York City, Healthcare Bluebook will provide the following:
You can use this number when negotiating the cost of your test; however, there’s no guarantee a provider or center will honor it.
With Medmo, we take a slightly different approach. Just because a price is “fair” doesn’t make it affordable. Instead, we ask how much you can afford for your test, then try to book it at that price.
Of course, there have to be reasonable bounds on your offer; no one would ever agree to perform an MRI for $25! To establish those bounds, we also rely on insurance claims data to determine average prices in your area. You can make an offer starting as some fraction of that average. You can usually go down to 20-30% of the average price – meaning you can save up to 70-80%!
For a brain MRI with or without contrast, Medmo’s pricing tool looks like this:
Of course, we can’t guarantee a center will agree to your price; however, we’ll encourage them to take your case if they have cancellations or other openings that would otherwise go unused. If we can’t book at your initial price, we may encourage you to move closer to the average for your area. We don’t charge a cent, however, until we successfully book your test.
It’s helpful to know how much a test usually costs, but it’s also important to find a solution that works for your budget. Using Medmo, just set your price and let us find that solution on your behalf.
To book a scan, visit us at Medmo.com. Medmo helps people schedule radiology imaging tests – such as MRI, CT scans, PET, and more – at nearby accredited centers and identify the payment solution that works best for them.