Comparison Shopping for a Low Cost MRI Scan

In the summer of 2014, a journalist named Kate Ashford went comparison shopping for a low cost MRI scan (or so she hoped). Later, she wrote about the experience in a piece for Forbes.

“It’s harder than you might think to get a price on a medical procedure,” she concluded. She described service providers who wouldn’t share their prices, billing departments that misquoted the total cost, and a startling range of prices for the exact same procedure.

“How much could you really save by calling around for the best deal?” Ashford wrote. “A lot. I heard price quotes from $500 to more than $3,000.”

When she found that her insurance company’s price comparison tool wouldn’t break down costs by procedure, Ashford began the difficult and frustrating process of calling provider after provider. Then she had to wrestle with their billing departments to get a quote. Finally, she was able to compare her options and choose a facility that offered the lowest price for quality services.

To paraphrase every infomercial ever aired, “There’s got to be a better way.” Good news: There is.

How to Find Prices for MRIs in Your Area

Lots of insurance companies provide price comparison tools. As Ashford discovered, however, many of these remain silent on the subject of diagnostic imaging. Besides, these tools aren’t available to patients who don’t have insurance.

Instead, just follow these few tips to start building a list of prices for any imaging procedure your doctor orders. Comparison shopping for an MRI isn’t impossibles. With the right tools at your disposal, and a little extra knowledge, it isn’t even that difficult.

  • Look beyond the hospital. Hospital are usually the most expensive places to get an MRI. Look for independent diagnostic imaging centers that don’t have to cover the cost of all those other departments.
  • Ask about cash prices. Many imaging providers charge much lower prices for self-pay patients, rather than those who go through their insurance. always makes these cash prices known upfront, so you can choose whether to get your insurance involved in the first place. No insurance, no problem.
  • Use a provider’s cost comparison tool. Check the location finder here. Find a facility in your area and compare the low cash prices to other facilities, and even for other branches of

Find Low Cost MRI Scans in Your Area

As Ashford discovered, insurance companies don’t always make it easy to figure out how much an MRi actually costs. With the help of cash prices and price comparison tools, patients can begin to take control of their health care costs. It just takes a little know-how.

“Be persistent enough, and ask the right questions, and you can probably find out what a procedure will cost beforehand,” Ashford wrote. “But you might not get the right information, and the process is frustrating.”

Sidestep the hassle by calling at 888-322-7785. Comparison shopping for a low cost MRI scan has never been so simple.


Ashford, Kate. “What I Learned When I Asked How Much My MRI Would Cost.Forbes. Forbes Media LLC, 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 26 May 2017.