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How Much Does a CT Scan Cost? – GoodRx

Sometimes you may experience pain, symptoms, or an injury that your healthcare provider cannot see with the naked eye. X-rays or ultrasound can help, but there are limits to what can be seen with these tests. this is where a CT scan can come into play.

CT scans have become an essential medical tool for imaging the body and diagnosing various diseases and abnormalities. More than 80 million CT scans are performed in the United States each year.

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CT scans typically cost more than X-rays and ultrasounds, but are less expensive than MRIs. The price of a CT scan can vary based on many factors, including insurance status, body area scanned, and type of facility.

what is a CT scan?

computed tomography, also known as a ct/cat scan, is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging test. provides clearer image details than an X-ray. A CT scan uses radiation and computer software to create a 360-degree x-ray view inside a person’s body. it’s painless and can usually be completed in 30 minutes.

A CT scan can be done on the whole body or on individual parts of the body, including:

  • abdomen

  • arm

  • chest

  • head

  • leg

  • neck

  • pelvis

    what are CT scans used for?

    CT scans work well for many situations, such as:

    • detection of internal bleeding and blood clots

    • diagnosis of abdominal pain, muscular diseases and disorders

    • examine organ damage or injury

    • infection identification

    • monitoring the status of treatment of diseases such as cancer

    • review of subtle bone fractures not visible on x-ray

    • understanding unexplained pain

    • obstruction display

      how much does a CT scan cost?

      The exact cost you’ll pay for a CT scan will depend on many factors, including the location of the service and the part of the body being scanned.

      On average, the national price for CT scans can range from $300 to $6,750. some scans can cost up to $20,400. a CT scan can cost up to 10 times the price of a standard X-ray.

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      here are some prices for ct scans with or without contrast in the us. uu.

      what factors determine the cost of a CT scan?

      Hospitals and doctors are free to set the prices for their services. however, costs may vary depending on various factors, such as:

      • body part scanned

      • place of service

      • geography

      • health insurance plan

        • inpatient facility (hospital) versus outpatient facility

        • in-network vs. out-of-network insurance benefits

        • technical fees for performing the scan

        • professional fees for reading results

          Many possible variations can affect the likely cost of a CT scan. Contacting your insurer will help you better understand what out-of-pocket costs you may face, if any.

          however, people without insurance can contact the facility directly. you can compare prices in different places. after receiving a doctor’s order, you can check the average price for your specific test.

          CT scan cost with insurance

          The exact cost you pay for a CT scan will depend on your specific health plan. some people can pay as little as zero dollars. however, some health plans may require you to pay some costs up front before paying, such as a copay or deductible.

          To ensure you receive full benefit coverage, ask your insurance provider if:

          • Your health plan covers imaging tests like a CT scan

          • you are responsible for any copays or deductibles

          • prior authorization is required

          • your health plan allows options for choosing imaging centers, and what your costs will be depending on the location of the service

            CT scan without insurance

            People without insurance will have to pay for the scan out of pocket.

            Study shows the average price of a CT scan can range from $300 to more than $6,750, whether you have insurance or not. although inflation can cause prices to be higher than average. however, an uninsured person should expect an average price of around $2,000 or more, depending on the type of scan.

            There are ways to lower the costs of a CT scan. Instead of visiting the hospital’s own facilities, you can talk to your doctor about alternative service locations, such as:

            • independent imaging centers

            • outpatient clinics

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              urgent care centers

              You can also talk to your health care provider about other options that can help lower your out-of-pocket costs, such as:

              • assistance programs

              • discounts

              • payment plans

                In addition, people who are uninsured or who choose not to use insurance are entitled to a good faith estimate. all providers of health care services are required to provide this under federal law. The American College of Radiology has a free search tool to help locate facilities in your area.

                what is the difference between a CT scan with and without contrast?

                Your doctor may order a CT scan with or without contrast, depending on the level of detail that needs to be seen. Contrast is a type of dye that you can receive by mouth, by injection, or rectally. contrast helps highlight organs and tissues for better images.

                A CT scan with contrast will likely cost more than one without it. blood tests to ensure healthy kidney function to remove the dye from the body may increase the price. however, it is difficult to determine the exact price difference between a CT scan with and without contrast.

                However, barium contrast agents tend to be significantly less expensive than iodine agents. Contrast-enhanced CT scans may cause adverse reactions in high-risk individuals. additional monitoring by a health professional can add to your total cost. Naturally, these extra steps can add to your overall cost.

                tips to save money on a CT scan

                Here are some tips to help you find the best value on a CT scan:

                • call various imaging centers for quotes

                • avoid places that only provide occasional scans

                • understand pricing structures at different facilities (university hospitals and research facilities may charge more due to prestige)

                • look for facilities that are independent and focus only on imaging tests

                  how do i check if a medical diagnostic imaging center accepts my insurance?

                  You can check it in several ways:

                  • visit facility website

                  • contact the facility directly and ask if they are in your health plan’s network

                    in-network centers have contracted rates with your insurer. therefore, you will pay less out of pocket than with an out-of-network facility.

                    Is the medical diagnostic imaging center recommended by my doctor covered by my insurance?

                    The best way to find out if your insurance provider will pay for services at a particular facility is to call them and ask. provide the name and location of the specific imaging center. then you can check to see if it’s covered by your benefits in-network, out-of-network, or not covered at all.

                    what is the difference between CT scans and MRIs?

                    Your doctor may order a CT or MRI depending on the level of detail they need to see inside your body. mris shows the best images. however, doctors often recommend CT scans before MRI.

                    The main difference is that CT scans use radiation (similar to an X-ray), while MRI uses strong magnets. CT scans are typically faster than MRIs, taking only a few minutes to help diagnose emergency situations. however, MRI is better at providing more enhanced detail for hard-to-see differences between the soft tissues of the body.

                    Is a CT scan or an MRI more expensive?

                    MRIs tend to be more expensive than CT scans. This is because MRI equipment is more expensive to purchase, operate, and maintain.

                    If I don’t have insurance and the doctor orders a CT scan, is there a cheaper alternative I can order?

                    a contrast-enhanced ultrasound (ceus) is another option. uses microbubbles (a type of contrast dye) to provide images in real time. Ultrasound machines typically involve a computer, a video monitor, and a handheld transducer. the equipment is more compact and less expensive to maintain and operate than CT or MRI scans.

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