One of the first things many people wonder before scheduling a medical appointment is “how much will this cost me?” This is especially true for a highly technical exam like an MRI. While scan procedures can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, they are often covered by insurance. If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance deductible is high and you’re unlikely to reach it this year, there are still effective ways to save money and help with the cost of an MRI.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe and pain-free imaging technique that uses a combination of magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body. An MRI allows organs, muscles, and other soft tissues to be easily viewed compared to a standard X-ray which only shows bones and joints. Doctors most commonly order brain MRI, joint MRI, liver MRI, and cardiac MRI.
There are two types of MRI: closed and open. The closed MRI has been around longer than the open MRI and is what most people think of when the word “MRI” first comes to mind. The design consists of a closed capsule where the patient lies completely still.
An open scan is beneficial for those suffering from claustrophobia as it has the same technology as a closed scan but gives the patient an open-air experience with open space in the front, back, and above. In an open scan, patients can sit, bend, and even stand.
Cost of an MRI
When it comes to the cost of an MRI, it depends on the specific type of exam, the area being imaged, and whether or not there will be contrast dye. Images of the limbs and abdomen tend to cost less than images of the spinal cord and brain. According to data gathered by Healthcare Bluebook, an MRI can cost up to thousands of dollars. With Medmo, our booking with a self-pay service like Medmo allows you to take advantage of pre-negotiated rates as low as $350.
Reduce Your Out-of-Pocket MRI Cost
Another cost factor to take into consideration is the location. Hospitals typically charge much more than standalone clinics due to overhead costs. Healthcare costs are always rising, so it’s important to find the most affordable care that still gives you the highest quality technology but keeps your out-of-pocket costs low. The great thing about Medmo is that we connect you to dedicated imaging centers that provide quality alternatives to hospital tests, offered at a significantly lower price.
Know About Insurance Plans
If possible, you may want to compare different insurance policies. Typically, you can only change policies during open enrollment periods or when you have a qualifying life event such as starting a new job and becoming eligible for coverage. When scheduling an exam, you should always contact your insurance company to ensure your MRI exam is covered.
Also remember that even if your employer offers coverage, you may still want to look into private insurance or insurance through the health care exchanges. The more comparison shopping you do, the less you are likely to end up paying for your scan out-of-pocket.
Consider Skipping Insurance
Another thing to consider is when your deductible will reset and if there are self-pay discounts. A deductible is an amount that you must first pay out-of-pocket for health care before insurance coverage kicks in. If you do not meet your deductible by the time you need to schedule your scan, you will likely have to cover the cost up until it is met, which could equate to hundreds or thousands of costs out-of-pocket. In cases such as these, it would be simpler and more cost-effective to skip insurance altogether and pay a pre-negotiated rate offered by the imaging center for an affordable MRI.
Self-pay MRI makes the most sense when you’re seeking care for something your deductible may not cover or if you know you won’t meet your deductible in time for health insurance to come into effect. Medmo’s discounted scan rates provide you with high-quality scans at affordable prices.
At Medmo, we offer the highest quality of MRI exams for up to 80% less. And unlike traditional methods, we give you upfront costs before you book so you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying, and work with you to find the best payment solutions.
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.