How Much is An MRI With And Without Insurance?

How Much is An MRI With And Without Insurance?

In this contemporary world, people suffer from varied serious diseases, and to rectify those diseases; Doctors suggest their patients go for MRI reports. Not only for serious conditions, but MRI is also useful to detect any other injuries that occur to your internal body when you meet with an accident. 

But, people are afraid about the cost of an MRI, so they avoid going for this report even if it is necessary and recommended by doctors. They believe that MRI is not so helpful for them. They choose alternative options like CT scans, X-rays, or Ultrasounds instead of MRI because the cost of other options is comparatively lesser than the MRI. The fact is, MRI is a completely different process than others. It inspects every small tissue of the body and easily recognized diseases. 

This article will provide detailed information about MRI reports, including; advantages and disadvantages, their uses, benefits, actual cost, and much more. The article also provides better insurance options; thus, you can go for this important process.

What is MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging; It is an intraoperative way to recognize two or three different structures of the organs, tissues, bones, and many other systems within the body. The MRI instrument creates cross-sectional, 3D images of the internal body without taking any help from radiation force.

Generally, it is suggested by doctors when they have to recognize the soft tissues to detect the diseases like ligaments, cartilage, etc. 

The main purpose of doing an MRI is to see the tiny part of the internal body which are invisible in other sources, such as X-rays, CT scans, or Ultrasound. Also, it recognized serious diseases like Cancer, Heart-diseases, Brain Stoke, Muscle or Skeletal disorders, and much more.

MRI Equipment:

The size of the MRI instrument is large, and it looks like a cylinder-shaped machine with a strong magnetic force. The MRI machine detects internal organs, their movements, and more. It is connected to the computer, giving continuous signals and operating a 3D image so the doctor can visualize and detect diseases easily. 

The MRI equipment is not using radio force continuously, as the whole instrument is made up of magnetic energy. So, the radio signals are frequently turned on and off during the process.

Advantages and Drawbacks of MRI:

Here are some merits and demerits of MRI that you should consider before moving further.


  1. The MRI instrument does not include any radiation forces, so any pregnant woman or baby can safely go for this process.
  2. The instrument focuses on all the body’s soft tissue structures, like ligaments, cartilage, and much more.
  3. With the help of an MRI, the doctor can detect the blockages.


  1. The MRI scanner is way more expensive than any other report. It costs around $400 to $2500, which is quite expensive.   The instrumental space is enclosed and creates some noises, due to which many people feel claustrophobic while they go for MRI.

Why Does the Doctor Recommend MRI?

There are many reasons why doctor orders their patients to go for MRIs because the result of MRI is more accurate than CT scans, Ultrasounds, etc. Pregnant women and babies can also go for these MRIs as they do not have any radiation force. The main reason doctor suggests the MRI is to look for rare tissues which are too small to rectify, or it can also help to recognize the blood flow or inflammation.

Uses of MRI:

All medical reports have some specific purpose, and it works according to their requirements. Like MRI has some specific uses, such as; 

  1. It is useful to recognize heart problems.
  2. All types of cancer are easily rectified with the help of MRI.
  3. Tumors, cysts, and other anomalies can be easily detected by doctors v in various parts of the body using the MRI machine.
  4. Check for any injury or damage to the joints, like back or knee injuries.
  5. People who suffer from liver diseases, brain strokes, and more are easily caught with the MRI instrument.

Benefits of MRI:

There are varied beneficial points of MRI which are considered very useful. . Its major use is that it rectifies serious diseases.  MRI scanning takes 30 to 60 minutes to detect all the small soft tissues, which are hard to fix by using any other scanning process.

So, here are some of the benefits of MRI Scanning:

  1. It detects diseases at their beginning stage and prevents them from spreading.
  2. MRI is the best scanner for those who suffer from diseases like Cancer.
  3. It does not include any radiation exposure.

Types of MRI:

The MRI completely depends upon the contrast and may vary according to the patient. Two types of MRIs are based on their equipment, closed or open.

  • Closed MRI:

The closed MRI provides quick and high-quality images of soft tissues. It is the most used MRI scanner. The Closed MRI instrument looks like a tunnel-shaped scanner, which scans the patients with the help of its magnetic field, but the issue is when the scanning process is started, it creates some noise, which leads to claustrophobia in some patients.

  • Open MRI:

The Open MRI instrument produces a less quality image than the Closed MRI equipment. The Open MRI machine moves around to the patients at different levels for detecting diseases. It is a quiet, time-consuming process but produces less noise than the Closed MRI. People who are overweight and have claustrophobia can go for an Open MRI.

Sometimes, doctors recommend the patient go for an Open MRI to check the tensions in the body that are exhibited when a person is in a standing position.

Difference Between Closed MRI and Open MRI:

A closed MRI is a traditional MRI system. The main purpose of closed MRI is to get detailed results about the diseases. As the instrument is covered from all sides, it produces a very high magnetic force, which helps diagnose diseases easily. The doctor recommends Closed MRI to those with liver tumors, multiple sclerosis lesions, fibrocartilage lesions, and the anatomical structure of complex parts of the body like the wrist.

Open MRI is a newly invented MRI instrument for those suffering from claustrophobia. It looks like a giant donut and moves around the patient to rectify the body movement. The main purpose of an Open MRI is to reduce anxiety and fear associated with the device.

An MRI Without Insurance:

The main issue with MRI scanning is that it is very expensive as it involves scanning internal body parts. The average cost of an MRI ranges from $375 to $2,850. Not only that, but some other factors increase the cost of MRI, such as

  1. The facility provides by the hospital to their patients is like a clothing facility.
  2. The location where you want to go for MRI Scanning
  3. If the person doesn’t have any insurance plan, they are only responsible for paying the actual cost.

These are a few factors that increase the cost of MRI, whereas the following are the two ways you can reduce the exact price, such as;

  • Avoid Hospital Facilities:

The facilities provided by hospitals charge higher fees for their patients. So, avoiding taking the emergency room and clothing facilities from the hospital for any MRI process is better.

  • Prefer Outpatient Services:

It means a freestanding imaging clinic, which is usually not a part of any hospital. Such clinics don’t have much bargaining power, so the patients get a lower price for MRI facilities from this type of clinic.

As the cost of MRIs is rapidly increasing, an act known as the Affordable Care Act helps the patient spend less on MRIs. Here are some MRI prices that charge according to the type of MRI, such as;

  • Knee MRI ranges from $375 to $800
  • Shoulder MRI ranges from $375 to $850
  • Brain MRI is between $225 to $1,400
  • Abdominal MRI is between $550 to $4,500 and much more.

The average prices of MRI are not affordable for all people,  so in such cases, the insurance company may help their policyholder to manage their MRI expenses.

MRI Cost With Insurance:

If a person has health insurance, the cost of an MRI is reduced, as the insurance covers $1000 to $5000 in their policy. But, the thing is, many insurance policies only covers the MRI cost, which means the charges of consultation and other procedure are not included in their coverage. So, before applying to any insurance company, you must check what insurance coverage is covered in their policy.

The following is the list of the MRIs your insurance company will help secure some of the amounts:

  • Upright MRI:

The MRI cost is similar to the Conventional MRI, which ranges from $1000 to $5000.

  • Open MRI:

This type of MRI is recommended for those obese patients. Your insurance policy pays $1000 to $5000 for your medical reason.

  • Pelvic MRI:

The Cost of a Pelvic MRI is the same as the previous two MRIs. The only difference is that it includes the doctor’s fees of $100 to $200 

  • The Price of Head MRI and Cardiac MRI is quite high compared to others. So, your insurance company pays 40 to 50% of your expenses. Well, it completely depends upon your insurance company.


MRI is a non-invasive way to recognize your organs, soft tissues, and other movements of your inner body. Doctors recommend MRI scanning because it gives detailed information about diseases another scanning cannot catch, like CT scans, X-rays, etc. 

Yet, the problem with MRI scanning is its affordability. Only a few people can afford the MRI scanning process as it is highly expensive compared to others. Also, some people don’t have appropriate knowledge about the MRI process and are unaware of the differences between other scanning processes and the MRI process. Due to this, people avoid going for the MRI process.

So, this article discusses all the essential information about MRI scanning, which includes its pros and cons, uses, types, costs with and without insurance, and much more.

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