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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: