One of the most influential tools in the diagnostic medicinal industry is the MRI scan. Since its invention in the early 1980s, it has been used worldwide for accurate diagnosis of sources of sickness or disease or abnormalities in the body. One of the biggest advantages of MRI scans is that they avoid exposure to harmful radiation. They are very popular because of this reason, but MRI costs are handled differently from the health insurance policy point of view. How a health insurance policy handles MRI costs varies according to the individual written policy, but generally speaking costs are usually covered if certain criteria are met.

MRI costs can range between $400 and $3,500, depending on which type of test is performed. Different types of procedures are caused by which area is getting examined, like whether it is the brain or the shoulder. The exact same procedure from testing facility to testing facility can vary by hundreds of dollars. This is why it is important to shop around whenever possible by calling local hospitals and other imaging centers to determine what current costs are. It is important to check with the individual's health insurance policy to determine if there are preset allowances available to offset the MRI costs, or if they have in network facilities with arranged fees with.

MRI costs are typically broken down into two areas. The first area of MRI costs is the technical fees. This is the actual cost of the procedure and where there is the potential to save a considerable amount of money by calling around to different facilities. The second area of MRI costs is the professional fees. These are the fees associated with having the radiologist interpret the test results. The health insurance policy will generally have a cap on both the costs of the procedure and the amount that will be paid in professional fees.

If an MRI is requested by a medical health care provider, the procedure is usually automatically determined to be reimbursable by the typical health insurance policy. This includes whether the insurance provider is a private company or Medicare. It is important however to be familiar with the procedure on reimbursement for MRI costs prior to having the procedure because there might be authorization needed or a cap on costs. If the procedure is not researched beforehand, it will invariably end up with more unnecessary out of pocket costs to a patient who is otherwise covered. In certain cases, if prior authorization is not obtained, than it could result in the entire claim being denied. Thorough understanding of each written health insurance policy is required to ensure that MRI costs will be recovered.

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