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March 15, 2021

How much does an MRI near me cost?

By Concierge at AffordableScan | 4 min read

MRI costs near you - find out how to save money

MRI scan average costs vary by facility & location.  For 40% of high-deductible patients insurance no longer covers MRI scan procedure performed 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. A cash MRI can cost you as little as $225 total.

Not sure where to start?

SEE HOW MUCH YOU CAN SAVE
Our concierge will help you find the most affordable imaging center

How to save money on MRI scans near you:

Pay in cash or with credit card 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 $225 for an MRI scan without contrast. Which means you will save up 80% vs. the list price that you will be quoted by your insurance company.

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 $23,749 for a single MRI.

Insurance is denying my MRI – what to do?

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.

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 one of edge cases, the health care failed a patient, who had to pay  $25,000+ for his daughter's scan and had hard time meeting his payment plan schedule. 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.

My doctor referred me to an expensive hospital

Don't worry, you can take your doctor referral to any clinic of your choice. As long as your doctor gets timely results of good quality they don't care if it comes from a large hospital or a stand-alone outpatient clinic that has lower costs.

Reading of MRI scans

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 diagnostic 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 imaging outpatient clinics tend to be more affordable.

MRI costs by top cities:

Most Affordable Cities for MRI scan cost near me:

Most Expensive Cities for MRI scan:

  • Raleigh, NC: $1,285
  • New York, NY: $1,200
  • Boston, MA:  $1,077
  • Portland, WA: $1,053
  • Richmond, VA: $986

MRI cost by state

Find out the average MRI cost by your state for insured and uninsured patients.

AlaskaKentuckyNevada
AlabamaLouisianaNew York
ArkansasMassachusettsOhio
ArizonaMarylandOklahoma
CaliforniaMaineOregon
ColoradoMichiganPennsylvania
ConnecticutMinnesotaSouth Carolina
DelawareMissouriTennessee
FloridaMississippiTexas
GeorgiaMontanaUtah
HawaiiNorth CarolinaVirginia
IowaNorth DakotaWashington
IdahoNebraskaWisconsin
IllinoisNew HampshireWyoming
IndianaNew Jersey
KansasNew Mexico

MRI costs by procedure type

Find out the average prices for most frequent imaging procedures:

CPT CodeMRI procedure TypeLowest cash priceAverage list price
70551MRI Brain without Contrast$225$1,328
70552MRI Brain with Contrast$350$1,692
70553MRI Brain w/o & w/ Contrast$400$2,054
72148MRI Lumbar Spine without Contrast$225$1,328
72149MRI Lumbar Spine with Contrast$350$1,692
72158MRI Lumbar Spine w/o & w/ Contrast$400$2,065
72141MRI Spine Cervical without Contrast$400$1,328
72142MRI Spine Cervical with Contrast$225$3,919
72156MRI Spine Cervical w/o & w Contrast$350$2,065
74181MRI Abd without Contrast$225$1,328
74182MRI Abd with Contrast$350$1,692
74183MRI Abd w/o & w/ Contrast$400$2,065

Not sure where to start?

SEE HOW MUCH YOU CAN SAVE
Our concierge will help you find the most affordable imaging center

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

Tips for getting an affordable MRI scan

  • Shop around for the best price for both MRI & CT scans
  • Don't hesitate to ask for discounts for MRI & CT procedures and negotiate to get the best rate possible.
  • 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's referral with you to another facility. Your referral might be issued to one of the most expensive hospitals in the country.
  • See if you qualify for a better insurance plan that will cover your imaging services needs.
  • If you have a musculoskeletal issue don't need to use the 3T MRI machine, which is considered the Ferrari of the imaging world, a simple 1.5T machine that cost fraction of it will suffice.

Not sure where to start?

SEE HOW MUCH YOU CAN SAVE
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 affordable medical care in the US.