To be honest, the answer to this question mentioned above is not as easy as it may seem. How much an MRI would cost without an insurance policy depends on so many factors which we need to look into, such as:
- Where do you want to get the MRI done? In US alone, the cost of MRI without insurance varies from one state to another. It can cost you anywhere between $400 to $8000.
- What type of MRI procedure is suggested by your doctor? Example, an MRI done on your brain will have a different price than an MRI done on your knee. Also if injectable is being used.
Now, even before you think of getting an MRI done without an insurance policy let me highlight a hypothetical situation which once understood will help you to decide whether getting an MRI procedure without health insurance is the best move or not.
Why MRI Without An Insurance Policy Is Not The Right Move
An MRI is generally suggested by a doctor to confirm any suspicion he might have while diagnosis. An MRI helps the doctor to further investigate the health issue and serves as a guiding report for right medication. If that is the case with you, then one thing is certain that it will cost you more than buying the most expensive health insurance plan.
Moreover as an MRI is such a comprehensive medical procedure and if they find any health related issue then it will be treated as a preexisting condition and getting health insurance will be tough. Even if you do find coverage, the cost will be nearly 5 to 8 times more than what you would pay without any medical complications. So in nutshell, potentially and unknowingly you are asking for a lot of trouble if looking for MRI done without having a health insurance policy. If you do buy health insurance, do check for pre-authorization for such procedures.
The Cost Of MRI Procedure Without Being Insured
Honestly speaking I do not have a fixed cost answer for you. It all depends where you live and which medical facility you visit to get the MRI done. Once you try to get the cost of MRI from various hospitals and medical centers in your area you will find that there is a lot of disparity in the cost of the same procedure being done at two different hospitals. An MRI done on your ankle will cost you around $400 in down town Washington D.C. and the same procedure done 2 miles North West in Georgetown will cost you around $1800. Brain MRI itself varies between $2000 and $3000 in different states. In New York if you wish to go for an MRI test of blood vessels then be ready to pay anything between $500 to $7500. So the key is to do a lot of research and find the most affordable option. Another example which shows a lot of disparity in MRI costs was experience by Martha Bebengir who tried to find out the real cost of an MRI but in vain. You can check that article here. It’s one of the most pressing mysteries to uncover the real cost of an MRI.
The exorbitant cost of MRI in the US has worked amazingly well for medical tourism. With no compromise on quality, the same procedure can be done in India for under $100 as compared to $5000 or more.
The most compelling reason is the lack of transparency in health care and the people who have insurance do not care about the cost as they have insurance company to cover the amount. I will not be getting into the details of MRI with health insurance as that’s not what we are discussing here.
Image Courtesy: Ben Saren
Category: Health Insurance