What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound — also called a sonogram — is an imaging scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body’s internal structures. Ultrasounds are often done transvaginally or over the abdomen to visualize the fetus, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid.
Ultrasounds use high frequency sound waves to create pictures of your fetus and internal organs (like your uterus and cervix). There are two types of ultrasounds — through the skin on your abdomen (belly), or through the inside of your vagina for those assigned female at birth. Ultrasounds are also commonly used in diagnostic imaging to provide vital health information about the body’s soft tissue and internal structures.
During an abdominal ultrasound, the doctor puts a little bit of gel on your stomach and rubs the ultrasound wand over your skin. The gel is cold and you might feel a little bit of pressure, but it’s not painful.
Will insurance cover an ultrasound?
Although ultrasounds are the second most commonly prescribed imaging scan (after X-rays), only a small fraction of them and other pregnancy-related health-care costs are completely covered by insurance companies. Patients with health insurance in California hospitals can expect to pay a copay between $34 and $378, which is 25% of the total cost of the ultrasound procedure. Prices range depending on where the ultrasound is performed.
To avoid additional charges, patients need to ensure the radiologist is also in-network, otherwise their fees will need to be paid in full, not to mention those with large deductibles. Patients who haven’t met their yearly deductible yet will be likely billed the full procedure list price ($138 – $1,514) because their insurance coverage will kick-in only after meeting the yearly deductible.
Almost 40% of all adult patients have high-deductible insurance plans, which means they need to meet their deductible of up to $13,000 per family before their insurance kicks-in. These patients can expect to pay the full price for the ultrasound ($138 – $1,514). For them, the best option is often to pay in cash.
By forgoing insurance, self-pay patients can get a discount of up to 80% on their medical imaging scans. While many imaging centers offer cash pay discounts, it is best to contact them directly to make sure. Even then, there is no set guide to how much they will cost since pricing information is not often advertised and can vary based on many factors. Fortunately, Medmo takes the guesswork out of finding the best price for imaging scans. We match patients with centers that offer the most affordable rates for medical imaging at locations near them.
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.