Blog Post

MRI Scan Costs: How to Find More Affordable Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses non-invasive technology involving powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your body. This helps your medical team make key diagnoses or see how you respond to treatment.

At Burbank Imaging and Open MRI, our experienced technicians and board-certified radiologists use high-performance imaging machines to achieve superior imaging with the latest clinical applications. 

Our providers also believe that ability to pay shouldn’t stop every patient from receiving high-quality medical care and imaging. Keep reading to learn how to find more affordable imaging options—even when you don’t have insurance. 

Understanding the cost of MRIs

While in an ideal world, the cost wouldn’t be a factor in getting the healthcare you need, the reality is that many patients put off getting the imaging and treatment necessary because of money concerns. 

An MRI is a pain-free, safe, non-invasive imaging technique that gives your medical team detailed images from inside your body. Unlike an X-ray, which only shows joints and bones, an MRI allows providers to look at your organs, soft tissues, and delicate systems besides your bones and joints. 

The cost of an MRI depends on the type of exam provided and the area(s) being imaged. For example, having an MRI of your limbs or abdominal area may not cost as much as an MRI of your brain, spinal cord, or nervous system. 

Other factors that affect the cost of your MRI include where you have the imaging study performed. Generally, MRIs cost more when taken at hospitals and emergency rooms than dedicated, standalone imaging centers.

Even with insurance, MRIs taken at hospitals or pricey centers may cost thousands of dollars. If you don’t have health insurance or if your insurance company tells you they won’t cover the cost of an MRI, you may put off crucial medical care. 

Tips for finding more cost-effective scans

The good news is that there are things you can do to have a less expensive MRI. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you have insurance, always contact them to verify your MRI is covered
  • Consider the out-of-pocket costs to see if skipping insurance is more cost-effective
  • Avoid MRIs at hospitals or emergency rooms when possible
  • Schedule a scan at an independent imaging clinic

The best way to keep down the cost of your MRI is by scheduling your scan at an independent imaging clinic, like Burbank Imaging and Open MRI. Standalone imaging facilities usually have lower rates since they typically charge rates the biggest insurers, like Medicare, will pay. 

In addition, independent imaging centers focus only on high-quality MRIs. Because all patients coming into an imaging center are there for medical imaging, the costs of the equipment and its upkeep and maintenance are shared between all patients—not just those who need medical imaging, like at a hospital or ER.

Even if you have insurance, you’ll also want to consider your out-of-pocket costs for medical imaging. If you haven’t yet met your deductible, it may be more cost-effective to avoid using your insurance and pay a pre-negotiated cash rate at an imaging center.

The bottom line? If you want high-quality, affordable medical imaging, schedule an appointment at a location that focuses on imaging so you get the best care possible at affordable prices. 

Our affordable, high-quality medical imaging 

At Burbank Imaging and Open MRI, we make high-quality imaging affordable for every patient. For patients with coverage, our practice accepts most major insurance plans. 

If you don’t have health insurance or if your insurance won’t cover or is delayed in approving the imaging ordered, our team offers discounted cash prices for MRI starting at $375. This price is often lower than what you’d owe with your insurance deductible.

Plus, at Burbank Imaging and Open MRI, you won’t have to sacrifice quality regardless of how you pay. For all patients, we use the state-of-the-art Hitachi Airis IITM Open MRI, which provides the most accurate, top quality images available.

At Burbank Imaging and Open MRI, we’re dedicated to making sure all people can get the medical imaging they need at an affordable price. 

To learn more about Burbank Imaging and Open MIR and how we help make high-quality medical imaging affordable, schedule a consultation online or over the phone at our Burbank, California, office today.