A knee MRI in the United States typically costs between $500 and $3,000. The actual cost will depend on factors like the location of the MRI, the type of facility where it is performed, and whether or not health insurance is used to cover some or all of the expense.
So, this is a large price range.
For sure, the biggest factor that affects the cost of a knee MRI is whether or not health insurance is used to cover part or all of the expense.
If health insurance is not used, then the full cost of the MRI will typically have to be paid out-of-pocket by the patient.
What is an MRI?
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your body. An MRI can be used to look at many parts of your body, including your brain, spine, organs, joints, and muscles.
It shows cartilage, soft tissues and blood vessels, making it more useful than an x-ray.
There are a few injuries in the knee for which MRI is necessary.
Knee pain when straightening your leg? Learn more here
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During a knee MRI, you will lie on a table inside a large machine that contains a magnetic field. The magnetic field is created by electricity, and it is not harmful to your body.
You will be moved into the machine so that the part of your body being imaged (in this case, your knee) is in the center of the machine.
During the test, you will hear loud thumping and humming noises. These noises are created by the machine and are perfectly normal. You will be given earplugs or headphones to help block out these noises.
The test itself will last for 30-60 minutes. Once the test is completed, you’re good to go, and a report will be done by a doctor who can read the pictures.
Knee MRI cost with insurance
This price can vary quite significantly from state to state, with prices ranging from $427 in Oklahoma to $1,191 in Alaska. That said, according to Healthcare Bluebook, the national average cost of a knee MRI is $788.
It is notoriously difficult to get even a ballpark figure of how much a knee MRI will cost in the United States.
The price just varies so much. Hospitals have special relationships with the different insurance companies. Tiered or high-deductible plans have wild swings.
Are you low-income, or using Medicare/Medicaid? The MRI might be around $200.
In some cases, financial assistance may be available to help cover the cost of the MRI.
Where is an MRI cheapest?
The lowest average knee MRI price is $427 in Oklahoma, and the highest average price $1,191 in Alaska. That said, if you are looking for an MRI at the cheapest possible price, it is important to compare prices in your specific area in order to find the best deal.
MRI Location, does it make a difference?
Another factor is the location of the MRI machine.
MRIs performed in hospitals or other large medical facilities will typically cost more than those performed at smaller imaging centers.
The type of facility where the MRI is performed can also affect the price; for example, MRIs performed at teaching hospitals may cost more than those performed at community hospitals.
Comparison with other body areas
MRI average cost range USA-wide:
- Cervical Spine: $1,400 – $7,600
- Shoulder, hand, arm: $1050-$7000
- Brain MRI: $1,600 – $8,400
Finally, the type of MRI machine that is used can also affect the cost of the procedure. Some newer MRI machines have better image quality but are more expensive to operate than older ones, and this difference in cost can be passed on to patients in the form of higher prices.
Let’s look at a few states in the USA for examples.
Knee MRI cost in Texas
Assuming you would like the cost of an MRI in Texas, the average cost is about $1,000, with a range from $500 to $3,000 depending on the location of the MRI, the type of facility where it is performed, and whether or not health insurance is used to part or all of the expense.
Knee MRI cost in California
In California, the cost of a knee MRI will also range from $500 to $3,000. However, the average cost is slightly higher at about $1,100.
Knee MRI cost in New York
In New York, the average cost of a knee MRI is about $1,200, with a range from $500 to $3,000. As with Texas and California, the actual cost will depend on a variety of factors including the location of the MRI, the type of facility where it is performed, and whether or not insurance is used
Have you had an MRI of the knee? How much did it set you back? Let us and others know below.
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