Tip For Free MRI
A little known loophole in some PPO health plans grants the ability to receive a free MRI when prescribed by a doctor. Yes, it is possible.
When prescribed to get an MRI from your doctor, most likely s/he will recommend you to the hospital system in which s/he practices. Here's the catch: Hospitals bill differently than a doctor's office. The hospital will bill your health insurance and in turn, you will be responsible for the portion that your health insurance does not cover. Most plans cover 70-90% of this type of expense and you are responsible for the remaining balance of the percentage not covered.
However, if you go to an MRI imaging center that is a part of your plan coverage (your health insurance provider will provide a list if you ask), they will bill the health insurance company as a doctor's office would. Therefore, you will be responsible for your co-pay (if applicable) and that's it. The remaining balance is paid by your provider.
You may want to check out this type of billing situation with other types of hospital services, such as x-rays and bloodwork.