When talking about health, we all want to get the best care possible, especially since this is the way to get an accurate diagnosis. To achieve this, we need to make sure that we know our options, especially if we need to ask about a particular treatment. That being said, let’s get to know how much CT scans cost without insurance, so I invite you to read carefully.
If you are one of the people who do not know what the price of this type of study is, then you came to the right place. Here we are going to tell you all the related information, so you can learn all about CT scans without insurance.
So, if you want to know much more about it and want to know your options, I invite you to read carefully.
What is a CT scan?
A CT scan is used to detect diseases and internal body trauma in a very fast way. This study will provide a complete picture of the body and can also be used when a complete medical or surgical treatment is to be planned.
This is a machine that takes multiple X-rays from various angles, and then those images and computer software are used to create detailed images of all the internal organs. Thanks to these tests, even soft tissues can be seen.
Difference between MRI and CT scans
These are two diagnostic methods that are completely different, but both will give an in-depth scan of all the internal organs of the body. The main difference between the two methods is in the way they process the images.
MRI scans use robust magnetic fields and radio waves to do a scan, while CT scans use X-rays.
The latter test is one of the most frequently done versus MRI scans. On the plus side, these scans are usually cheaper compared to MRIs, but sometimes it will depend on what is needed.
How do both scans work?
When performing a CT scan, the patient will be asked to lie down on an X-ray machine that is very large and similar to a doughnut. There you must lie very still during the entire scan, and, as soon as the scan is done, they are sent to a computer.
For the MRI, a specific radio wave scanner is used that will reflect off your body. The process is basically the same as the other test in that the patient must be in the machine. This is a safer option for pregnant women, especially since no radiation is emitted.
The difference between the two studies is that the MRI machine is quite noisy, so earplugs are usually provided to reduce the noise.
How long does a CT scan last?
It is important to know that the length of time a CT scan lasts can vary and will depend largely on the scan you are receiving. Normally this is a study that will last between ten and thirty minutes.
However, it is always advisable to dedicate at least one hour to the study, especially because this will allow you to easily prepare for it.
Why is a CT scan so expensive?
This is an expensive study because the equipment required is highly specialized and takes a significant amount of time to perform. The technicians who perform this technique are specially trained to carry out the process in a safe manner, both for the study and for the patient.
In addition, the maintenance of the machine is costly, and keeping the machines in perfect condition will require at least $100,000 per year.
What is a CT scan study used for?
This type of study is normally used to diagnose different types of tumors, hemorrhages, internal trauma, and obstructions, among others. In addition, they are used to look for signs of internal damage after an injury is sustained.
Types of CT scans
You must take into consideration that there are different types of CT scans, among which we find:
- Standard CT scan: this is the most common and uses X-rays to create images of the body.
- MDCT scan: these have X-rays that are more powerful and allow more detailed images to be created thanks to the two-dimensional detector array. The images produced by these studies are much more complex than normal and play an important role in the development of high-resolution CT scans.
- CT angiography: this type of CT scan seeks to discover the risks of diseases related to the heart. It is used to detect any type of damage to the blood vessels and to diagnose problems such as blockages and aneurysms.
- CT Myelography: This scan will provide a close look at the spinal cord. However, the use of this type of examination is rare due to the existence of magnetic resonance imaging.
- PET scan: this is a test that allows the discovery of brain disorders and is used to make precise diagnoses.
On the other hand, CT scans can be done in different areas of the body, depending on the patient’s needs, and will get a diagnosis of a specific area in a much simpler way.
How much does a CT scan cost if I have insurance?
Insurance will determine the cost of any diagnostic test a person will undergo. However, the amount you will pay, even if you have insurance, will depend on several factors such as:
- The medical center you choose.
- The location.
- The method of payment.
- Whether or not contrast media are needed.
- Additional office visits.
Normally a CT scan can be priced on average around $3,280, and even then, prices vary between $300 and $6,750, and these numbers will be regardless of whether you have insurance or not.
If you do have insurance, you should be aware that some will cover the full cost of medical care associated with having a CT scan. However, even if your insurance pays a portion of the costs of the exam, you should keep in mind that there will still be out-of-pocket expenses involved. Typically when there is a co-pay fee, you will have to assume a cost of 10 to 20%.
How much does an uninsured CT scan cost?
An uninsured CT scan can vary in price depending on the type of scan performed, and you will always have to pay the full amount of the bill. Typically a chest CT scan could be around $200, while a brain CT scan could be around $800.
Also, the cost of this scan will depend mainly on the city where you live. In these cases, some medical centers may offer a payment plan to ease the cost that the test will have, and some may also reduce the cost by using a sliding scale payment system or negotiating with the imaging center.
In addition, many states have programs that help people pay for medical expenses, so these are also worth checking out.