How much does an X-ray cost without health insurance?
Diagnosis using medical imaging tests (such as ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan) is required by your doctor to help explain your symptoms and abnormal lab results.
How much an imaging study costs will depend on several factors:
The type of imaging exam you need
The place where your imaging exam will be done
Your health insurance
Medical imaging provider
Imaging providers perform imaging tests in a hospital, a facility affiliated with a hospital (separate from the hospital), or at facilities not affiliated with a hospital. Prices are set by these providers in order to cover the costs of:
The space and equipment to take the images
Technical and support staff
The time and specialty of the doctor (usually a radiologist) to:
- Plan and interpret studies
- Prepare a permanently written report
- Share the study results with your family
How to choose a provider and coverage network
Your plan may require you to choose coverage from a network of specific or preferred imaging centers. If your insurance plan has a preferred provider network, you will be asked to select an imaging center within that network for your imaging study to be covered by insurance. If you choose an out-of-network provider, you may pay a higher cost for the imaging study. Even among preferred providers that are in your insurance plan’s network, the cost of imaging exams may vary for the same type of test. You can use your insurance’s preferred provider list to compare the costs of getting an imaging test at different centers.
To estimate your costs for a specific medical imaging study, you should ask your insurance provider if:
- A pre-authorization is required, and if your medical imaging study is covered.
- What will be the costs that you will have to pay out of pocket for this study, considering your coinsurance and any excess you may have.
- If you have options regarding which imaging center to use and what the costs will be for those options.
Estimating your costs
If you don’t have insurance, you should talk to medical imaging providers beforehand to ask about:
- Payment plans
If you have health insurance, the type of insurance and the requirements of your plan will affect how much you pay for the total cost of your medical imaging tests.
Your bill for medical expenses related to X-rays
Depending on the provider of the medical service, you may receive separate bills for:
- Facility / technical charges, including costs associated with medical imaging equipment, facility, and technologists operating the imaging equipment.
- Professional charges, including the costs of the radiologist, or another physician, who will plan, interpret, and generate an imaging examination report.
Independent, non-hospital imaging centers generally send a single bill detailing both technical and professional services, requiring only coinsurance.