Costs and reimbursements of MRI scans

Most private and public hospitals and private radiology practices now have MRI machines. The costs depend on whether you are a private or public patient.

  • If you have your MRI in a public hospital as a public patient you should not be charged, but it may depend on your State or Territory, and the part of the body being scanned.
  • If you are admitted to a public hospital as a private patient you will have to claim the costs of the MRI through Medicare and your private health insurance provider.
  • If you have your MRI in a private hospital or a private radiology practice there may be out-of-pocket expenses. 

Previously, to be eligible for a Medicare rebate for a range of MRI scans, a patient had to be referred by a specialist (sports medicine physicians are not considered specialists according to Medicare). From November 2012, children under the age of 16 can get a direct GP referral for some MRI scans that are eligible for a Medicare rebate.

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