Are MRIs Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does cover MRI scans if your doctor deems them medically necessary in order to diagnose an illness or condition. This guide will take a look at how and when an MRI scan may be covered by Medicare and the costs you can expect to pay.

Doctors review results of an MRI

When does Medicare cover MRI scans?

In order for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to be covered by Medicare, it must be ordered by your doctor or other health care provider who determines the procedure to be medically necessary as part of your treatment plan.

Additionally, the doctor prescribing the MRI and the health care provider administering the procedure must both accept Medicare assignment in order to ensure maximum coverage from Medicare.

If they do not accept Medicare assignment, you may be charged for up to 15 percent more than the Medicare-approved amount. This is called an excess Medicare charge.

How much does an MRI cost with Medicare?

Your MRI will typically be covered by Medicare Part B medical insurance. The cost of your MRI (and your cost for other similar scans, such as CT scans, EKGs, X-rays and PET scans) will depend on whether or not you have met your annual Medicare Part B deductible.

The Medicare Part B deductible is $185 per year in 2019. Once you meet your Part B deductible, you will be responsible for paying the Part B coinsurance, which is typically 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of your MRI cost.

The cost of an MRI can vary depending on the provider or facility you visit.

Medicare Advantage plans also cover qualified MRI scans

One coverage option Medicare beneficiaries can consider is a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan. Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to provide coverage for the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B (also called Original Medicare).

This means that a Medicare Advantage plan will cover eligible MRI scans in the same way that Original Medicare does. Some Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare, such as prescription drug coverage, vision, dental and hearing benefits.

Did you know that some Medicare Advantage plans feature $0 monthly premiums? $0 premium plans may not be available in all locations, so it may help to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare plans that are available where you live.

Get started comparing plans with a licensed agent by calling TTY Users: 711 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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