How to Save a Quick Grand on Your Next MRI or CT Scan
by Jud Anglin
I have a good German buddy who works for JPMorgan in New York. A couple of weeks ago, he gave me a call to inquire about surgery for a possible torn meniscus in his right knee.
I asked if he’d had an MRI yet, but he told me the couple local radiology centers he’d called were giving him quotes of $1,500–3,000.
He has insurance, of course, but his deductible is a whopping $9,000. Naturally, then, he didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg if he didn’t have to. After all, with his sky-high deductible, this would all be money that’d be coming out of his pocket.
Fortunately for my friend, I was able to help him out, saving him a grand right off the bat by recommending a little-known miracle company. Take note, because the next time you need an MRI or CT scan, you can expect similar savings. The company is called We Care Medical Mall Inc., and their website is www.CheapImaging.com.
The headline banner on their site flashes:
"MRIs starting at $290 and CT scans starting at as little as $190."
And if you scroll down, you’ll quickly find their prices listed by state for MRIs and CT scans. California actually claims the prize for the lowest price for an MRI, coming in at $235, while Mississippi comes in last, at $575. Still, better than $3,000. As for my good buddy who lives in New York… $360 bucks. Not bad!
We Care Medical Mall has a network of 2,800 imaging locations across the country, so you should be able to find one fairly close to home. They charge a $60 fee for their service, but this will come out of the total they give you during your quote.
One thing you should know too is that they require a referral from a physician. Still, the savings are big enough to counter these pesky little details. But… what if I told you that I also have a clever trick for getting a referral from a physician — free of charge?
How to Get an MRI Without Your Doc’s Written Permission
Here is a nifty little loophole that has worked nicely for many of my former MedRetreat medical tourism clients:
Step 1: Contact a foreign hospital that promotes international patient services. For this list, navigate to the website of the Joint Commission International (JCI). The Joint Commission is a Chicago-based organization that accredits U.S. hospitals on safety, standards, procedures, and protocols — but they also accredit foreign hospitals that promote their services to international patients.
Step 2: Inform the international patient coordinator of the hospital from which you would like to receive a quote and of which procedure you are seeking. In most cases, they will not charge you for a treatment plan and price quote. If they do, try another one. Tell them that you would like the MRI performed in the U.S. first. Send them the We Care Medical Mall referral form and ask that their recommended surgeon complete it in English and fax it back to the listed number.
By following these simple steps, you can avoid going to your local doctor for a referral.
Depending on the outcome of the scan, you may even want to consider the foreign option for treatment. After all, prices offered by hospitals and treatment centers overseas can be up to 80% lower than what you’ll be quoted at your local community hospital. With skyrocketing health insurance premiums and deductibles, 2016 is a great time to shop for better deals. They're out there — you just have to know where to look…
I look forward to bringing you more such opportunities for big cost savings in future articles.
Judson Anglin is the founder of MedRetreat.com and a board member of the Laissez Faire Club. © Laissez Faire Books LLC