How Much Does a Pelvic Ultrasound Cost?

Last Updated on April 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Pelvic ultrasounds utilize high-frequency sound waves to obtain detailed images of reproductive organs and identify abnormalities. But what are the true out-of-pocket costs for this common diagnostic procedure?

Understanding the full range of pricing factors allows smart financial preparation when this essential imaging exam is recommended by your physician. Let’s closely examine the considerations around pelvic ultrasound costs in today’s healthcare market.

How Much Does a Pelvic Ultrasound Cost Without Insurance?

On average, expect to invest $300 to $1,500 or more for a complete pelvic ultrasound if uninsured. With robust insurance coverage, your cost share often falls between $100 to $800 depending on your specific plan’s benefits and deductible.

Here are current typical costs nationally for patients paying uninsured out-of-pocket:

Transabdominal Pelvic Ultrasound

  • Hospital setting – $500 to $1,500
  • Imaging center – $300 to $700

Transvaginal Pelvic Ultrasound

  • Hospital setting – $600 to $1,800
  • Imaging center – $300 to $1,000

Radiologist Interpretation Fee

  • $100 – $300 up to $500

Pelvic Ultrasound Costs with Insurance:

  • Medicare – 20% coinsurance after deductible
  • Medicaid – $0 copay if covered
  • Private insurance
    • Copay – $20 to $60
    • Coinsurance – 10% to 50% of allowed amount

Additional Cost Considerations:

  • Office visit fee – $50 to $200
  • Repeat ultrasound for follow-up – up to 2x the initial cost
  • Added procedures like biopsy – $500+

Uninsured costs can easily vary by several hundred dollars depending on your geographic location. Always inquire about prompt-pay cash discounts and any financial assistance available to help reduce your medical bills.

According to Sidecar Health Care Calculator, the cost for a pelvic ultrasound in California is around $307.

New Choice Health notes that a pelvic ultrasound in Los Angeles costs $240 on average, with prices ranging from $122 to $4,748 among different medical providers.

Turquoise Health writes that an ultrasound, pelvic, complete in Los Angeles costs $715 on average, with prices ranging from $0 to $4,748 among different medical providers.

MDsave offers a range of prices for Transvaginal Ultrasound with Pelvic Echo procedures, with prices ranging from $165 to $2,052 for those on high deductible health plans or without insurance.

What is a Pelvic Ultrasound?

A pelvic ultrasound refers to an imaging procedure that uses reflected high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed pictures of the female pelvic anatomy including the uterus, ovaries, cervix and fallopian tubes. There are two primary types:

  • Transabdominal – The ultrasound probe is slowly moved over the outer surface of the lower abdomen to view the pelvic structures through the abdominal wall and into the pelvis. This is the standard initial approach.
  • Transvaginal – The ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to obtain clearer, more focused internal imagery when needed. This allows assessing for potential issues in the uterus and ovaries.

Pelvic ultrasounds are invaluable for identifying uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, tumors, pelvic inflammatory disease, and other gynecological abnormalities. The procedure is also routinely used to monitor fetal development during pregnancy.

What Influences Pelvic Ultrasound Pricing?

Ultrasound ScanSeveral variables affect the total price charged for pelvic ultrasound services:

  • Type of ultrasound – Transvaginal scans often warrant a higher price than transabdominal due to their more invasive internal nature and detailed imaging capability.
  • Facility type – Hospital-based ultrasound departments generally charge higher rates across the board compared to private outpatient clinics and radiology centers.
  • Geographic location – Major metropolitan areas command significantly higher rates given their higher cost of living and healthcare service overhead costs.
  • Purpose – Medically necessary diagnostic scans focused on assessing specific symptoms tend to have higher fees than general well-woman screenings or standard prenatal monitoring.
  • Radiologist interpretation – Specialist charges for image analysis may range $150 to $500 and are usually billed separately from the procedure itself.

Checking with both your provider and insurance is key for accurate pelvic ultrasound cost planning. Never hesitate to price shop.

How Insurance Impacts Pelvic Ultrasound Costs

The amount you pay out-of-pocket depends largely on your specific health plan’s coverage details:

  • Medicare Part B – Covers 80% of the approved amount after your annual deductible is met. You pay the remaining 20% coinsurance.
  • Medicaid – Fully covered with no copay if considered medically necessary and a covered benefit under your state’s program. Coinsurance may apply for optional add-on services.
  • Private Insurance – Copays or coinsurance percentages apply once your annual deductible is satisfied, often 10% to 50% of the total ultrasound price. Your out-of-pocket responsibility varies considerably between policies.

Even with health insurance coverage, always verify your benefits and obtain written pre-authorization and cost estimates from the facility ahead of time. This avoids surprise bills. Explore manageable installment payment plans if needed – don’t avoid essential diagnostic care.

You might also like our articles about the cost of ultrasound technician school, OB/GYN visit, or 3D ultrasounds.

Are Free or Low-Cost Pelvic Ultrasounds Available?

If you lack health insurance coverage or face financial hardship, options to help reduce your pelvic ultrasound costs include:

  • Contact hospital financial assistance programs – Most nonprofit hospitals offer charity care to uninsured or underinsured patients who meet income eligibility criteria.
  • Visit community health clinics – These facilities provide reproductive health services and pelvic ultrasounds based on sliding-scale fees according to your income level and ability to pay, sometimes as low as zero cost.
  • Check Planned Parenthood – Their centers offer discounted reproductive care and pelvic ultrasounds priced according to your financial situation.
  • Apply for Medicaid – This government program provides health coverage for qualifying pregnant women and children in low-income households.
  • Search for mobile health clinics – These services bring free or discounted ultrasounds to underserved communities periodically.

Seek out every available resource to access this vital diagnostic care regardless of insurance status. Your health comes first.

Final Words

While certainly not free, pelvic ultrasounds provide invaluable insights into reproductive health and early abnormality detection. The benefits of early diagnosis and prompt treatment often outweigh any initial price concerns.

With the right financial preparation through insurance verification, cost comparisons, discounts, and payment arrangements, critical imaging remains accessible. Never let worries over pricing stop you from seeking the personalized medical care necessary for preserving your long-term health and peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I avoid before a pelvic ultrasound?

It is recommended to avoid drinking large amounts of fluid and having a full bladder prior to a pelvic ultrasound. A comfortably full bladder is ideal, but overfilling can make imaging more challenging.

Eat a light meal avoiding excess gas-inducing foods. Arrive with comfortably empty bowels. Follow any specific preparation instructions from your provider to obtain the clearest images.

What questions are asked in a pelvic ultrasound?

Technicians typically ask basic health questions relevant to imaging such as the date of your last menstrual period, any prior pregnancies or health conditions, symptoms you are experiencing, areas of pain or concern, and if a full bladder is required for the type of ultrasound being performed.

This helps guide them to customize the imaging to your needs. You’ll also be asked for consent to perform the transvaginal ultrasound if needed. Open communication ensures the best exam.

Why can’t you pee before a pelvic ultrasound?

A comfortably full bladder is often required to visualize the uterus and ovaries adequately during pelvic ultrasounds. The fluid provides an acoustic window allowing the sound waves to transmit.

Some appointment instructions ask patients not to urinate for up to an hour before the pelvic ultrasound to allow bladder filling. However, overfilling the bladder can also inhibit imaging, so striking the right balance based on technician guidance is key.

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