MRI scan costs near me – find out how to save money

MRI scan costs vary by facility & location.  For 40% of high-deductible patients insurance no longer covers MRI scan cost until they reach their $6,000 to $18,000 deductible. Patients are expected to pay out of pocket between $700 – $6,000 for a single MRI, it’s essential that you do your research first before going to the closest facility you were directed by your doctor.

MRI costs overview

MRI scan cost

MRI scan cost by region

Most Affordable cities for MRI scan near you:

  • MRI scan price in Los Angeles, CA: $250-700 – Agglomeration with most MRI clinics
  • MRI scan cost in Chicago, IL: $350 – $800 –  Offers both affordable & expensive locations
  • MRI scan cost in Phoenix, AZ: $350 – 693 – Great choice of MRI imaging centers

Most Expensive cities for MRI scan near you:

  • Raleigh, NC: $1285
  • New York, NY: $1,200
  • Boston, MA:  $1,077
  • Portland, WA: $1,053
  • Richmond, VA: $986

Outpatient facilities (free-standing imaging centers) have more affordable MRI costs than hospitals

Hospitals directly refer their patients to their imaging facilities, so they are not directly motivated to provide affordable service. Especially research hospitals such as UCSF or Stanford are among the most expensive in the country. For instance, 2 years ago Stanford  charged a patient $16,000+ for a single MRI.

Location matters: save money by going for an MRI to larger cities

The pricing is generally tied to supply & demand market economics. The more outpatient facilities are there in the market, the higher is the competition and more willing are the imaging centers to provide competitive rates for MRI scan cost to win patients over. Generally, large cities with lot of competing hospitals and outpatient clinics tend to be more affordable.

How to save money on MRI scan cost:

Pay in cash and save thousands on MRI fees

The great news is that with a standalone clinic you can always negotiate a better rate if you pay in cash. The imaging center saves on billing costs and removes the hassle of dealing with insurance companies, so they can provide you with large discounts. You can pay as little as $250 for an MRI scan without contrast, which can be as high as 80% saving vs. of the sticker price.

Tip for insured patients – Don’t get stuck in in-network/out of network loopholes

If you happen to go to an out-of-network imaging center, you can be charged a large bill. In the edge cases, one patient had to pay  $16,000+ for his daughter scan. Make sure that not only the imaging facility is in-network, but also the radiologist who will be reading the scan, otherwise, you can be still charged the full cost. The unfortunate detail is that once you accept the insurance to pay for your scan, and they disprove your claim, you will be charged the full sticker price and not be able to negotiate, so many patients prefer to pay the cash rate.

Image result for imaging cost denial

Reading of MRI scans

Insurance denied my MRI, what can I do?

The good news is that you can still do the MRI if you pay yourself in cash. Instead of waiting 3-4 weeks, you can go directly and schedule your appointment at one of the Affordable Scan facilities for $250-600 fee that also includes the radiologist reading and CD of the scan.

Tips for getting an affordable MRI scan

  • Shop around for the best price (see the facilities in your area)
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts
  • Ask about all the fees. Do they include the cost of MRI, cost of the radiologist reading?
  • Take your doctor referral with you to another facility – your referral might be issued to one of the most expensive hospitals in the country

Not sure where to start?

Get a quote for the best cash price from our patient concierge >


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