MRI scan cost depends upon several external factors. This HealthHearty article presents information on the average cost of a MRI scan in the U.K., U.S., and India, along with a list of factors that largely influence the cost.
MRI scan has revolutionized the field of diagnostic medicine. Ever since its invention in early 1980s, it has been extensively used worldwide, for accurate diagnosis. It gives detailed computerized images of the internal structure of the body. Hence, it is an effective tool for detecting the abnormalities in the body. The biggest advantage of MRI scan is that it avoids exposure to harmful radiation, like X-Rays.
How Does MRI Scan Work?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan uses radio waves with magnetic strength that is 10,000 to 30,000 times more than that of the earth. This affects the body atoms, so that the atoms and their nuclei are forced to move in different directions. While they traverse back to their place, they send their own radio signals, which are picked up by the scanner. A detailed computerized image is then produced, which shows the abnormalities present in the tissues. MRI scan is a good diagnostic tool to detect benign and malignant tumors, brain and spine disorders, sclerosis, etc.
MRI Scan Costs
Cost of MRI scan varies depending upon several factors. These include:
- body part to be examined
- need for contrast/dye injection
- whether MRI is to be performed at hospital or outpatient imaging center
- local competition in the region
- locality/region of the center
Outpatient imaging centers quote a lesser price for MRI scan, as opposed to hospitals. You can also inquire for special discounts on the cost of MRI scan. Some centers or even hospitals may offer some discounts if you agree to pay all the cost at one go. However, you can also inquire if you can pay it in installments of 2-3.
✦ In U.S.
On an average, you should be ready to spend anywhere between, $400-$3500. Again, this cost may vary depending upon any of the factors mentioned above (whether it is a shoulder MRI or brain MRI, and where it is performed). Mostly, all of this cost can be covered in an insurance, however, if you are one of the 47million uninsured Americans, you’ll have to shell the entire amount from your pocket. MRI cost with insurance is pretty less than the above mentioned cost. However, certain constraints in insurance plans such as high deductible plans, higher copays, and ‘catastrophe-only coverage’ might force you to pay more for your MRI scan.
✦ In the U.K.
U.K. is most expensive when it comes to MRI scan. Hence, many patients from the U.K. seek an alternative by flying to countries like U.S. or India, where they get better deals. However, if you are planning to fly to the U.S, then the high air fare cost might make your deal pretty useless. India, on the other hand is a preferred option in terms of air fare, accommodation, and quality of medical facilities. In U.K., the approximate MRI cost can range between £300 to £2,600.
✦ In India
India is the cheapest option for performing MRI scans. This country offers standard medical facilities at reasonable prices. The average cost of MRI scan in India is about Rs.4000 – Rs.14,000. The influence of the above mentioned factors applies here as well. You might be charged a bit extra in the metropolitan cities however, better accommodation and excellent medical facilities make the expenses worthwhile.
Even though MRI scan costs are a bit on higher scale, there effectiveness and accuracy in diagnosis makes this cost worthwhile. Early diagnosis through MRI scan has saved several lives. After all, no cost is greater than your life!