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How much does an MRI cost?
An MRI could range from $0 up to $500, depending on your patient status and particular medical condition.
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Undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can be a daunting experience, but this painless test is an important diagnostic tool used to help investigate a wide range of conditions and ailments that can be, depending on the circumstances, covered by both Medicare or health insurance.
How much does an MRI cost?
Although the total cost of an MRI scan varies depending on the part of the body being imaged, costs generally range from $100 to $500. This is much better than in many overseas countries, where this procedure can cost several thousands of dollars. Additionally, both Medicare and Australian private health funds (in some cases) can pay towards the cost of the MRI scan.
Compare your health insurance options
Use the tool below to compare health insurance from multiple funds. Keep in mind that "MRI scans" are not a clinical category – your insurance will cover scans that are needed for a treatment type, if it's covered.
MRI cost: Medicare vs private health insurance
Health insurance can cover MRI scans, depending on your cover. Whether you are going the Medicare or health insurance route, always be sure to check that your treatment is covered or whether you will need to pay any upfront costs. Here are some of the ways these costs will be calculated:
- Public patient in a public hospital (no health insurance): Medicare covers 100% of the cost.
- Private patient in a public hospital: Medicare covers 75% with the remaining "gap" covered by the health fund.
- Private patient in a private hospital: Medicare once again covers 75% with the remainder paid by the health fund.
- Out of hospital MRI scan with specialist referral: Medicare covers 85% of the cost.
To have your MRI scan covered by health insurance, you'll need hospital cover. Each hospital insurance tier will cover a different set of conditions, so you'll need to have a product that covers your particular issue to be covered.
Does Medicare cover MRI scans in Australia?
Medicare will cover the cost of some MRI scans, depending on the reason for the scan. The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) lists item numbers (conditions) for which benefits can be claimed. The table below lists the
|Item number||Purpose of the scan||Fee charged||Medicare benefit|
|63551||Head scan for a patient 16 years or older to investigate:||$403.20||75%: $302.40|
|63554||Spinal scan for a patient 16 years or older for suspected cervical radiculopathy||$358.40||75%: $268.80|
|63557||Spinal scan for a patient 16 years or older for suspected cervical spine trauma||$492.80||75%: $369.60|
|63560||Knee scan for a patient 16 years or older following acute knee trauma with:||$403.20||75%: $302.40|
|63507||Head scan for a patient under 16 years for any of the following:||$403.20||75%: $302.40|
|63510||Spinal scan for a patient under 16 years following radiographic examination for:||$448.00||75%: $336.00|
|63513||Knee scan for a patient under 16 years following radiographic examination for internal joint derangement||$403.20||75%: $302.40|
|63516||Hip scan for a patient under 16 years following radiographic examination for:||$403.20||75%: $302.40|
|63519||Elbow scan for a patient under 16 years following radiographic examination where a significant fracture or avulsion injury is suspected that will change management||$403.20||75%: $302.40|
|63522||Wrist scan for a patient under 16 years following radiographic examination where scaphoid fracture is suspected||$448.00||75%: $336.00|
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