With the Average American spending more than $12,500 per year on personal health care, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best & Worst States for Health Care, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to determine where Americans receive the highest-quality services at the best prices, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 42 key measures of health care cost, accessibility and outcome. The data set ranges from the average monthly insurance premium to physicians per capita to the share of insured population.

Best States for Health Care Worst States for Health Care
1. Rhode Island 42. Tennessee
2. Massachusetts 43. Georgia
3. Hawaii 44. Texas
4. Minnesota 45. South Carolina
5. Maryland 46. West Virginia
6. Vermont 47. Arkansas
7. Colorado 48. Oklahoma
8. Connecticut 49. Louisiana
9. Maine 50. Alabama
10. Iowa 51. Mississippi

Best vs. Worst

  • Utah has the lowest average monthly health-insurance premium, $408, which is 2.8 times lower than in West Virginia, the highest at $1,144.
  • California has the highest retention rate for medical residents, 70.80 percent, which is 4.5 times higher than in the District of Columbia, the lowest at 15.70 percent.
  • Vermont has the lowest number of infant mortalities (per 1,000 live births), four, which is two times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at eight.
  • West Virginia has the lowest share of at-risk adults without a routine doctor visit in the past two years, 9.40 percent, which is 2.3 times lower than in California, the highest at 21.50 percent.

To view the full report and your state or the District’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-best-health-care/23457

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts. Feel free to embed this YouTube video summarizing the study on your website. You can also use or edit these raw files as you see fit. Full data sets for specific states and the District are also available upon request.

Best,
Diana Polk
WalletHub Communications Manager
(202) 684-6386

More from WalletHub

Expert Commentary

What tips do you have for a person looking to find the right balance between the cost of premium and level of coverage?

“When choosing insurance coverage, one strategy to balance premium cost and coverage level is to examine the types and frequency of health care you have used over the past two to three years. Barring any unforeseen events, do you expect to have similar health care use in the next year? If so, which plan provides the most affordable coverage for those types of health care encounters or medications? Think of this plan as your baseline plan. Next, think about potential events that may cause you to need a greater than expected amount of health care in the next year…How much more would the premium be if you increased coverage for unexpected events? Compare this additional premium cost with the potential out-of-pocket cost (the amount you pay that is not paid for by insurance) that you would incur with the baseline coverage. If the additional premium cost is much lower than the potential out-of-pocket cost, the higher premium plan may be desirable.”
Melissa Garrido, Ph.D. – Research Associate Professor, Boston University

“The main purpose of obtaining an insurance policy is to ensure one can access healthcare in times of need without concern about financial vulnerability. With that goal in mind, just like any other purchase of goods and services, it is important to consider not just the premium you have to pay month to month but also whether the insurance plan serves the function it is supposed to serve, i.e., whether it provides you with access to affordable, quality healthcare services you need…Determining the appropriate level of balance between premium and coverage requires an individual assessment based on the person’s unique circumstances, including their health, the type and quantity/frequency of care they would likely need (if it is possible to anticipate), and their financial situation. Many state and local governments provide health insurance navigation services to help you make those decisions.”
Jean Bae, J.D., M.P.H. – Visiting Associate Professor, New York University

What are the most important steps Americans can take to minimize health-related expenditures? 

“New health care price transparency regulations requiring both health insurers and hospitals to post their negotiated services on their websites and the Surprise Billing Act passed by Congress are giving Americans more access than ever to information on what their health care services cost. Health care consumers can go directly to their health insurer or hospital website to compare prices and quality, enabling a more informed decision. Employees can advocate for their employer to contract with high-quality, cost-effective health care providers. Uninsured individuals can compare charges for care, and should not be hesitant to request a discount on the out-of-pocket payment charge.”
Karoline Mortensen, Ph.D. – Associate Dean, Business Programs; Professor, University of Miami

“First, get insured. Studies have shown over and over again that health insurance, despite the associated upfront cost of premiums, is an effective way to manage financial risks associated with healthcare and improves health outcomes, which ultimately help reduce the risk of future healthcare expenditures. In fact, many uninsured individuals are not aware that they may be eligible for ACA Marketplace plan subsidies or low- to no-cost health insurance plans such as Medicaid. Second, find a primary care doctor and make sure to ask about recommended tests and screenings for your age, sex, and health profiles. Under the ACA, many of these preventive services are covered without a copay.”
Jean Bae, J.D., M.P.H. – Visiting Associate Professor, New York University

What are the major issues facing healthcare in 2022?

“Inflation. As the buying power of wages goes down, households become more vulnerable to financial shocks. Prices for energy and food have been rising, but healthcare prices have been relatively stable. However, this stability is likely because prices are negotiated administratively the year before. How health insurers and providers set prices this year, accounting for the general rise in inflation, will affect the affordability of health plans and healthcare in the short term. It is worth noting that, generally, medical inflation outpaces general inflation.”
Victoria Perez – Assistant Professor, Yale University

“One major healthcare issue in 2022 is the availability and well-being of the healthcare workforce. There have long been shortages of primary care providers and mental health professionals – these were exacerbated by COVID-19. There are ongoing efforts to increase training opportunities for new health care professionals and to incentivize the recruitment of professionals to areas with greater shortages. The increasing availability of telehealth also may allow for more flexibility in addressing some workforce shortages.”
Melissa Garrido, Ph.D. – Research Associate Professor, Boston University

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