MRI, or “magnetic resonance imaging,” is a special type of non-invasive testing that uses intense magnetic fields to generate radio waves that bounce off organs and tissues and produce very detailed images.
MRI scans are an essential diagnostic tool, yet Canada has one of the lowest per capita MRI scanner rates in the developed world. For every million people in Canada, there are six MRI scanners. This lack of available scanners puts an enormous strain on the Canadian public health system, with waitlists as long as 18 months.
Private MRI clinics provide MRI images within days. However, the costs can be prohibitive. Adding a group health care spending account to your benefits package allows your employees to get the diagnostic services they need promptly, which is especially important for those with serious health concerns.
Here’s a bit more about MRI scans, their associated costs, and why adding an HCSA to your group benefits might be right for your business.
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How Much Does a Private MRI Scan Cost?
MRI costs vary depending on the area or areas scanned, the provider, location, and more. On the low end, prices typically start around $300, but on the high end, they can far exceed $3,000.
Small skeletal scans, especially on lower extremities, such as the ankle, are generally the most affordable, while more complex abdominal scans tend to cost the most. The need for scans of multiple areas will also greatly increase costs.
The type of MRI can play a role, as well. For instance, a 3T MRI, or 3 Tesla MRI, produces a potent 3-tesla magnetic field capable of capturing highly detailed images of blood vessels, brain structures, nerves, and joints. An extremity MRI, on the other hand, is half as powerful and much smaller. This difference in technology—and the skill to operate it—is one reason extremity scans tend to cost less.
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A Group Health Care Spending Account Can Cover Private MRI Scan Costs
A group health care spending account can cover medical expenses excluded from provincial plans by offering tax-free compensation. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determines which expenses are eligible under an HCSA, and MRIs are included.
An HCSA will offer your employees more comprehensive coverage and the option to avoid the long wait time for an MRI scan—but adding an HCSA to your group plan offers benefits for you too! You can claim it as a tax-deductible expense.
If you’d like to explore the cost of adding an HCSA to your plan, we’re here to help. At Group Enroll, we’ve assisted countless businesses all across Canada in comparing group benefit costs to find the best possible coverage for the lowest possible price.
Fill out our quick quote form to get started. If you have questions about what testing services are available for your employees or need more information about what we can do for your business, you can also email us at [email protected]. We’re located at 10 Great Gulf Drive, Unit 5, Vaughan, ON, L4K 5W1.