| On 4 years ago

MRI price in the Bay Area, San Francisco, San Jose & Oakland

By Concierge at AffordableScan | 4 min read

MRI prices in Bay Area, San Francisco, San Jose & Oakland:

As stated by, NPR, MRI price in the Bay Area continues to skyrocket. A high deductible patient can expect to pay between $800 – $6,000 for an MRI, while self-pay cash patients can pay as little as $450 – $600.

Not sure where to start?

Our concierge will help you find the most affordable imaging center

Stand-Alone Outpatient Facilities – the affordable option for MRI’s, CT’s & Ultrasounds

More often than not, the best equipped and most expensive facilities can be found at national, and research hospitals such as UCSF. Such facilities tend to charge high-deductible patients $2,500-$6,000 per single MRI scan. Alternatively, seeking outpatient facilities can save thousands of dollars for patients looking for MRI, CT, or ultrasound scans.

High-deductible & uninsured patients

Self-pay cash patients have the ability to negotiate a much better rate on MRI, CT, and ultrasound scans. The outpatient facilities savings in resources and the elimination of insurance companies translates into a reduced price for the patients. Cash patients can pay as little as $250 for an MRI without contrast, which is a 90% savings versus the listing price.

Insured patients tips

Don’t get stuck in in-network/network insurance loopholes

Unfortunately, complete insurance coverage does not mean the absence of a large bill.  Generally, your doctor will refer you to an in-network facility, which is covered by insurance. It is important to ask if the radiologist reading the report is also in-network.  Doing your research and knowing what to ask will help prevent being charged the full list price of the scan. David Belk from Truecostofhealthcare.com covers many of these horror stories.

Insurance is denying my MRI – what to do?

Don’t be distressed if your insurance company is denying an MRI, CT, or Ultrasound scan.  Cash paying patients can get the scan(s) needed without the need to wait for insurance approval.  You can get a fast, and affordable MRI, CT, or Ultrasound scan through one of the AffordableScan facilities.

Cash MRI prices & fees by type of procedure in San Francisco, CA:

MRIs prices vary by the complexity of the scan, the requirement of doctor contrast, and the reading of the scan.  Here are some average cash prices at outpatient clinics:

  • MRI scan without contrast: $450 – 1500
  • MRI scan with contrast: $575- 2000
  • MRI scan with & without contrast: $675- 2500

MRI prices Bay Area, CA

  • Bay Area MRI cash price: $450 – $1000 –  Expensive in terms of market price in California.  Additionally, Stanford & Sutter Health have consolidated many imaging facilities leading to a decrease in competition. To obtain a lower price, branching out to Castro Valley, San Jose, and Oakland is a preferable choice.

Tips for getting the best price for an MRI, CT or a PET/CT 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’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 Example: A MRI of the knee or shoulder typically can be performed without the need for fancy machinery. Knowing what type of scan is needed, the complexity of the scan and the doctor’s orders are essential in the cost-saving market.

Not sure where to start?

Our concierge will help you find the most affordable imaging center
Concierge at AffordableScan | 4 min read

The concierge team at AffordableScan works with top experts & doctors in the industry to publish the latest research & news on medical care in the US.