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 costs by procedure type

Find out the average prices for most frequent imaging procedures:

CPT/HCPCS CODEMRI scan namePrompt Pay PriceDirect Pay PriceAverage (Estimated) Total
70552MRI Brain w/ Contrast$847$1,100$1,692
70553MRI Brain w/o & w/ Contrast$1,027$1,335$2,054
70551MRI Brain w/o Contrast$664$863$1,328
72149MRI Lumbar Spine w/ Contrast$846$1,100$1,692
72158MRI Lumbar Spine w/o & w/ Contrast$1,033$1,342$2,065
72148MRI Lumbar Spine w/o Contrast$664$863$1,328
72142MRI Spine Cervical w/ Contrast$1,960$2,547$3,919
72156MRI Spine Cervical w/o & w Contrast$1,033$1,342$2,065
72141MRI Spine Cervical w/o Contrast$664$863$1,328
74182MRI Abd w/ Contrast$846$1,100$1,692
74183MRI Abd w/o & w/ Contrast$1,033$1,342$2,065
74181MRI Abd w/o Contrast$664$863$1,328

MRI scan cost by region

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 as a result, the imaging centers are more willing to compete on price for MRI scan to win patients. Generally, large cities with a lot of competing hospitals and outpatient clinics tend to be more affordable.

We tend to see the best prices in the Los Angeles region, Miami region and other large cities. Generally, the more facilities are in an area, the higher is the likelihood that they will compete for patients on price and service quality.

Most Affordable cities for MRI scan near you:

  • MRI scan price in Los Angeles, CA: $249-700 – suburbia with most MRI clinics
  • The cost of an MRI scan 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:

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

How to save money on MRI scans near you:

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 means you will save 80% vs. the sticker price.

Outpatient facilities 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.

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.

In case you use your insurance for an MRI scan and it gets disapproved, you will be charged the full sticker price. Surprisingly, due to a legal agreement between insurance and facility, you won’t be able to negotiate. Therefore many patients prefer to pay for an MRI scan in cash.

Image result for imaging cost denial
Reading of MRI scans

My health insurance denied my MRI, what can I do?

The good news is that you can still do the magnetic resonance imaging procedure if you pay for it in cash. Instead of waiting 3-4 weeks, you can reach out to our AffordableScan concierge to help you schedule your appointment. The usual MRI pricing ranges between $250-600 fee. This fee includes the radiologist reading and CD of the scan. Generally, we place most patients in a day or a week and you can expect the results within the next 2 business days.

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 for your body part MRI. 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 an affordable scan >