How much does an MRI cost?

Like everything else in healthcare, the answer to “How much does an MRI cost” is: it depends. An MRI can cost anywhere from $700 to $3,000.The average MRI will usually cost around $1,500. You are probably wondering why the price varies so much and how to pay the $700 price and not the $3,000 price. Pricing will depend on several factors like whether you are insured or uninsured, the type of insurance you have, the insurance plan, the scanning location, the part of the body you are scanning, if you need contrast, etc.  

How does insurance play a role?

Depending on your insurance, you will typically pay coinsurance (a percentage of the cost) or a copay (a flat rate). For example, look at the summary of benefits for imaging from my insurance plan:

Sample insurance benefits

If I need an MRI or CT scan, chances are, I will be paying $1,000 out of my own pocket before insurance kicks in. Some insurances will have a lesser copay or coinsurance, while some will be even higher.

Finding an exact price for what you will pay is almost impossible. First you must know where you are going to get the MRI. Next you can call and ask for pricing, but they will usually tell you, “We don’t know what the price is, it depends on your insurance” – which is true. After hassling them enough, they can look up your exact plan from your health insurance company, find the negotiated rate, and let you know how much you will be paying. Healthcare is expensive, complex, and difficult to navigate.

There is another way

What if you could shop for an MRI like you would for gas? Gas prices are transparently posted at every gas station. You can drive around, compare, choose the best price, and get the gas that you need. However, in healthcare, prices seem to be secretly hidden, and finding pricing is almost impossible – until the bill arrives in the mail. Ouch.

At Desert Peak Imaging, we take pride in our affordable, transparent pricing. Our cash pay prices start at$499 for any MRI and $349 for any CT scan -- including the radiologist read.

Desert Peak is here to help

Our purpose is to provide members of the community with reasonable medical imaging services without emptying the bank. We have taken the complexity out of healthcare by allowing you to know the price, and shop how you want to shop.

We hope this helps you understand a little more about the cost of an MRI. Please give Desert Peak Imaging a call if you have any questions about MRI scans or medical imaging.

--Colby Overfelt, Managing Director