Healthcare Cost

How Much Does a Cortisone Shot Cost Without Insurance?

Kendra Bean
Kendra Bean9 Mar 2023

A Cortisone shot without insurance ranges between $25 and $300. This is the price range per steroid injection. Many additional fees may be associated with your steroid injection, so it is essential to speak to your healthcare professional to understand the total cost before receiving the procedure. 

Source: SportDoctorLondon

Factors that Affect the Cost of the Cortisone Injection

The cost of a cortisone shot varies depending on your insurance status, the facility performing the injection, and the part of the body receiving the injection.

Office Visit & Facility Fees

If you decide to seek out a cortisone injection, the first cost you will face will likely be the cost of your visit to the doctor. An office visit generally costs between $50 and $200. Of course, these prices depend on the specific clinic, geographic region, and insurance policy. 

Urgent care may be viable if you need care after hours, on the weekends, or can not get an appointment with a doctor in a timely manner. The cost of urgent care without insurance ranges from $80 to $280 for simple procedures, such as a steroid injection.

Additionally, an x-ray or other imaging may sometimes be required before receiving a cortisone shot, adding additional expense. Imaging can be used to guide the health care professional during the procedure. The cost of an x-ray without insurance at urgent care generally costs between $120 and $325. Whether or not imaging technology is used depends upon your doctorʻs preference, anatomy, and injection site. 

Part of the Body Receiving Injection

If you receive a cortisone injection to treat acne cysts, you will most likely pay less than if you get a shot for joint pain. For example, the average cost of a cortisone injection for acne nodules or cysts is $25 - $100. In contrast, injections to joints or other body parts can range in price between  $100 and $300 per shot. 

Insurance Status

Your insurance status will be the most significant factor in a cortisone shot's cost. If uninsured, you will pay a flat fee for the office or urgent care visit and the cortisone shot. If you are insured, you will pay only the copay cost when visiting your doctor. Again, this ranges between $10 and $50, depending on your insurance policy. Your insurance policy usually covers injections if they are deemed "medically necessary." 

CostHelper notes that there may be restrictions, "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi stipulates that if there is no documented pain relief after two injections, no further injection will be considered medically necessary." This highlights the importance of understanding and discussing coverage options with your insurance agent. 

How Mira Can Help

Mira offers coverage to make urgent care visits what they should be, affordable! Mira may be an excellent option for a more affordable way to get x-rays and other services  at urgent care. With a Mira membership, you can access low-cost care at over 1,000 walk-in clinics, low-cost lab testing, and discounted prescriptions, all for an average of $45 per month. 

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Cortisone Shot

Cortisone shots, or cortisone injections, can be effective at relieving pain and inflammation in specific areas of your body. The steroid shot contains a corticosteroid medication, a powerful steroid, and a local anesthetic. Most commonly, the shot is received to help relieve pain and inflammation for a variety of conditions. Cortisone shots can be used for joint and muscle conditions as well as immune-related diseases. 

Joint and Muscle Conditions

  • osteoarthritis
  • gout
  • bursitis
  • tendinitis
  • joint pain
  • plantar fasciitis
  • sciatica

Immune-Related Disease

Steps In Getting A Cortisone Injection

You will most likely receive a cortisol injection in a doctorʻs office. However, the steroid shot can also be administered in a hospital or urgent care. Depending on where you will receive your injection, you may be asked to change into a gown. The rest of the procedure will most likely go as follows:

  1. The injection site will be cleaned
  2. Your doctor may apply an anesthetic spray to numb the area
  3. The needle will be inserted into the injection site and the medication will be released

Following the steroid injection, you may experience a bit of pain and redness near the injection site. Additionally, you should consider:

  • Protecting the injection area for a day or two
  • Apply ice to the injection site as needed to relieve pain
  • Not use a bathtub, hot tub or whirlpool for two days
  • Watch for signs of infection, including increasing pain, redness and swelling that last more than 48 hours

Cost of a Cortisone Shot Without Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Consider this additional information regarding the cost of a cortisone shot.

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Why Would I Need A Cortisone Shot?

There are a variety of reasons why you may be recommended to receive a cortisone injection; many of these were included earlier in this article. Another reason some receive cortisone injections is for acne, particularly larger acne cysts. Cortisone shots can help shrink the swollen cyst wall and reduce the redness, swelling, and pain of severe inflammatory acne breakouts.

Can I Administer a Cortisone Shot To Myself?

Cortisone shots are usually always administered by trained medical professionals. A cortisone injection is a fairly common medical treatment. Just about any healthcare provider trained in the procedure can give one as part of a routine office visit. This would include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and many others. 

When Does A Cortisone Shot Start Working?

You can expect to feel the effects of your cortisone shot within a week of receiving the injection. This will, of course, vary from person to person as well as where the injection site was located. The shotʻs effects usually last a few weeks to a few months.

Are There Any Side Effects To The Cortisone Shot?

With cortisone shots come potential side effects. The most common is pain around the injection site. Other potential side effects include:

  • Cartilage damage
  • Joint infection
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Nerve damage
  • Temporary increase in blood sugar
  • Tendon weakening or rupture

*The risks of side effects do increase with larger and repeated doses. For this reason, it is recommended not to get cortisone injections more often than every six weeks.

Bottom Line

Without insurance, a cortisone shot can cost between $25 and $300. The price will vary based on the facility you received the cortisone shot and the injection site on your body. Sometimes, you may need an x-ray or ultrasound to guide the procedure better. A cortisone injection can be extremely helpful in relieving pain and inflammation for a variety of conditions.

Kendra Bean

Kendra Bean is from Maui, Hawaiʻi. She is currently enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, specializing in Epidemiology. She is passionate about improving health literacy and access to care, specifically in rural areas.