How To Save Money On MRIs

How To Save Money On MRIs

For some reason, your doctor has prescribed an MRI. After doing some research, you’ve come to a consensus: MRIs can definitely be expensive. While having health insurance to cover your MRI certainly helps make imaging more affordable, it can also increase your final bill depending on what the deductibles and copays are on your policy. To effectively save money on your MRI scan, you need to look at where your MRI is performed. 

Before we talk about cost, it’s important to have a general understanding of what you should expect during your MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the internal body. An MRI usually takes about 30-45 minutes to complete and different machines can accommodate standing or lying down, and in open or closed settings. Because MRI machines use powerful magnets and not x-ray technology like CT scanners, there is no risk of radiation exposure.

MRIs are typically performed at either hospitals or imaging centers. While both will perform the same scan, the rule for cost is that the bigger a facility is, the larger the damage will be to your wallet. If you require immediate medical assistance, hospitals are practically unavoidable. However, if your doctor has prescribed a scan for a non-emergency situation, like routine medical imaging for cancer treatment or other chronic illnesses like cystic fibrosis, you can find much more affordable MRI pricing at outpatient imaging centers.

Hospitals are generally known to have the most expensive MRI costs whereas independent diagnostic centers are usually a fraction of hospital costs. This is because hospitals acquire more expenses since they have high-quality equipment to perform tests and are open 24/7 all year round so their operational fees are greater. They also charge more fees than freestanding centers and some of those costs include third-party insurer fees, specialist fees, and more. All of these increase the amount you pay. In comparison, independent diagnostic imaging centers are able to charge less for MRIs because their overhead expenses are lower and are usually open only during regular business hours on weekdays. 

The price for MRI ranges depending on where you go. Quotes can go anywhere from $400 to almost $4,000 or more. Cost also varies depending on if a contrast dye is used or if you have the option between an open MRI or closed MRI. Although imaging centers are more affordable than hospitals for medical imaging, you do not need to worry about sacrificing quality for cost. Accredited centers like those on are equipped with the same technology and well-trained professionals as hospitals and because their primary function is to perform medical imaging, they can be better at and more used to answering questions about your scan. It’s important to research a variety of places—hospitals, clinics, and independent centers—before scheduling an MRI. You will typically find that off site imaging centers provide the cheapest and most affordable MRI.

Other tips to save on MRI costs include knowing when to use insurance versus cash on medical expenses and using Medmo to research and book quality medical imaging. Patients who schedule their MRI scans with Medmo save hundreds of dollars and countless hours comparing prices and locations. Medmo works with reputable imaging centers to provide exclusive discounts and keep you informed of the booking process every step of the way. We believe that you do not have to be a medical expert to save money in healthcare.

To book a scan, visit us at 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.


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