There are a few different reasons why your health care provider may schedule an MRI test for you. If you are experiencing symptoms that cannot be diagnosed without additional information, you may need to have this type of testing to attempt to find the cause by taking a look inside. It's a non-invasive test that uses magnetic resonance imaging that is comparable to a type of X-ray. It goes more in-depth to show different layers and depths of tissue to give your doctor a more clear picture of what is going on inside.
What types of MRI are there?
There are several different types of MRIs. Some of them require the patient to either ingest a contrasting material or have one introduced into the body through IV therapy. Here are the examples of the different types along with their average costs.
Basic MRI of the abdomen with contrast is 736 to $1,471. A more extensive MRI of the abdomen without contrast, repeated with contrast: $898 to $1,796. An MRI of the abdomen without contrast ranges from $578 to $1,155. An MRI of the brain with contrast is $736 $956 $1,471, without, then repeated with contrast is $893 to $1,786.
An MRI of the Lumbar Spine with contrast ranges between $736 to $1,471. The test conducted first without contrast, then with averages $898 to $1,796, and without contrast is between $578 and $1,155. An MRI of the cervix ranges between $751 and $3,408.
Does insurance cover them?
Most insurance companies offer health care plans that do cover at least a portion of MRI testing if not all of it. It really depends on the company that you're insured through and the type of health care coverage plan that you have. Most hospitals or clinics are willing to contact your insurance provider in advance to determine how much if any of the cost that they are willing to cover. This will let you know how much your responsibility for the bill will be.
Additional charges for MRI testing
In most cases, you'll receive an estimate for the cost of the MRI test, but there will be other charges. Sometimes these are included in your initial estimate, but not always, so it's a good idea to ask the billing office that is helping you make arrangements if the figures given are for the total cost. In addition to the procedure, there may also be a facilities charge for the clinic or hospital used. If you have injections of contrasting dye or ingest the liquid type, there will also be a charge for this. There is also the fee for the technician that performs the testing and afterward, the MRI technician who reads the testing results may bill you separately.
You should also check with the physician clinic who referred to you have the MRI. There may be additional clinic charges for the office call that resulted in the referral for an MRI. Although this is not a part of the cost of an MRI, it will be an associated cost that you may have to pay, including a return visit to get your results.
In some cases, the total cost of an MRI test is covered by healthcare insurance. Some charge a deductible and after this is met, the balance could be taken care of. If you don't have insurance coverage, or if it does not pay the entire amount of the bill, most hospitals and clinics offer payment plans. Most hospitals are willing to set you up on a plan that will not charge interest if the entire amount is paid within 14 days. If you cannot do this, the billing office will work with you and set up affordable payments on a monthly basis until the total bill is paid in full.
These are just estimates of the total costs involved with MRI testing. Each case is different and not all testing facilities charge the same It's best to work with the clinic's billing staff to find out in advance how much you may be responsible for paying. Most of these facilities work with their patients to provide helpful assistance in making payment arrangements. In some instances, there are state assistance programs that you may qualify for if you meet the income guidelines. These are also worth checking into if you don't have health insurance coverage.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker