How Much Does an MRI Cost with Medicare?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Diagnostic testing, such as MRI, is essential to preventative health care and can help ensure that a health issue does not worsen without intervention.

Medicare does cover MRIs in specific circumstances. General criteria associated with Medicare MRI coverage includes: 

  • The scan must have been prescribed by a licensed physician as part of a treatment protocol for a health-related issue.

  • All providers involved (the prescribing physician and MRI facility/provider) must accept Medicare patients and be approved by Medicare.

Part A coverage extends to those receiving the scan as part of inpatient services in a hospital or medical facility. Part B coverage extends to those receiving an MRI as part of outpatient treatment or diagnostic protocols. 

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

How Much Does an MRI Cost with Medicare?

Medicare pays 80% of the cost for an MRI as long as it is an authorized scan. This coverage falls under Part B, which means that beneficiaries will have to pay the deductible on their specific plan.

Beneficiaries with a Medicare Supplement (Mdigap) plan can get some help paying for the Medicare Part B coinsurance costs you may face when getting an MRI that's covered by Medicare.

Additional Cost Factors

MRI costs through Medicare may vary depending on the area of the body being scanned and the type of MRI. For instance, an Extremity MRI is one that looks for specific issues in the extremities of the body. This might be less expensive than one necessary to scan the brain. 

The type and location of the MRI facility is also a factor. A standalone MRI facility might be more cost effective when considering out-of-pocket expenses than a hospital. Additionally, costs might include any sedative necessary for more in-depth MRI testing, specialized MRI reading and the use of dye or contrast. 

What Is an MRI?

An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a diagnostic technique in the form of a tube-like machine that uses radio waves to capture images of the internal components of the body. It combines the radio waves with a magnetic field to complete this process. 

One of the reasons this is such an effective form of diagnostic testing is because the machine can capture 3D images of the internal organs and processes. This can alert medical professionals to any potential illnesses or diseases. 

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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