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The good news is that with the Affordable Act in action, hospitals can no longer charge the uninsured patients obnoxious fees for doing MRIs. Before large medical facilities would charge patients $3,000 - $6,000. Now with the legal protection in place, facilities who accept government funding (the majority of facilities) must provide a cash price that is similar to the price that Medicare & Medicaid pays for its beneficiaries. They get one of the lowest rates across the country thanks to the excellent negotiation power. As a result, patients can get an MRI for cash for as little as $250.
It is important to note most of the time, all the bells and whistles associated with the new machines are not needed for the majority of diagnoses. MRI scans without contrast are used a majority of the time, and they are more cost friendly to the patient. Understanding the differences in needing an MRI with contrast versus an MRI without contrast is also vital in making a cost-effective decision. In the simplest of terms, MRI with contrast uses a substance that is injected into a certain part of the body to make it more visible on the scan. It is generally used to better observe the presence of tumors, and inflammation. It is also used to assist with the more accurate location of blood vessels, blood supply, as well as used on certain organs for a more optimal image.
The good news is that you can still do the MRI for even a cheaper price than would be your co-pay if your insurance would cover the MRI price. You can go the cash route and instead of waiting 3-4 weeks for your insurance approved the appointment, you can get the next day MRI appointment through one of the AffordableScan facilities.
It depends, you might better of first getting your imaging done, so you can have a better understanding of your future medical needs. At any point of time you can also compare insurance plans to decide if you want to continue to go the cash route, or sign-up for an insurance plan.