MRI scan is a procedure that uses a large magnet to create an image of internal body organs. According to articles published in USA Today, the MRI cost varies based on facility & location. There are about 3,000 hospitals with imaging centers, as these need to pay for the expensive emergency departments, they charge the insurance companies extra for their paid patient’s use of imaging services. As of now, the prices are about 10x what they are in Europe.
MRI scan cost by insurance type:
MRI cost for Insured patients in Illinois
At hospitals insured patients can expect to pay about 10-20% co-pay which translates to an MRI scan cost of about 5000 billed and 500 to a 1,000 co-pay. Please make sure that the radiologist is also in network, otherwise, you’ll pay for this just like a high-deductible patient.
MRI cost for Medicare patients in Illinois
Medical & Medicare are the largest payers of hospital & imaging centers, so they are the best negotiator of rates. They pay per scan as little as $350-500 dollars, so as a patient you can expect as little co-pay as $25-$50. However keep in mind, that there is a large chance that the doctor will deny you a referral as if he mistakenly refers you, he will not receive payment from Medicare, who is looking to cut the cost of medical imaging.
MRI cost for High-deductible patients in Illinois
Almost 40% of all adult patients are high-deductible patients, who need to meet their deductible of $13,000 per family, so they can expect to be asked to pay the full price of MRI scan. Their best option is to pay in cash.
MRI cost for cash patients
Self-pay patients through platforms such as AffordableScan can get an 80% discount by going for the unused appointments and get the scan for as little as $350. The facilities are grateful for being able to monetize their excess capacity
Cost of MRI scan for special procedures
- MRI scan without contrast: $350-900
- MRI scan with contrast: $450-$1300
- MRI scan with & without contrast: $500-$2000
- MRI scan of the breast (check on breast implant) – $575 – $900
- MRI scan of the breast to check for cancer: $900-$2000
- MRA of heart: $1,200-$3,000
Tips for savings on MRI scan price in Illinois
- Shop around for the best price (facilities get a quote for facilities near you)
- Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts
- Look for facilities that work with teleradiolist, those provide much better reading costs
- Confirm that the price includes radiologist reading & CD cost
- Ask about all the fees. Do they include the cost of MRI, cost of the radiologist reading?
- Take your doctor's referral with you to another facility – your referral might be issued to one of the most expensive hospitals in the country
- Check the recommendation of best machine type required for your scan – if you need an MRI for a knee or a shoulder, you don’t need the “Ferrari” of MRIs that will cost you thousands of dollars, a simple “Toyota” like MRI for $350 will completely suffice