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Which states have the highest return on health care spending?

Health Care and Health Insurance
by Kim Shores
Which states have the highest return on health care spending?
Which states have the highest return on health care spending?

It's a well-known fact that Americans spend a lot of money on health care every year - $2.9 trillion, in fact - but the amount of care each individual gets for every dollar they put into that massive pot can vary significantly based upon a number of factors. One of the biggest that many consumers may not consider is the state in which they live.

The latest data shows that the average American paid about $5,884 for individual health insurance, and $16,351 for group coverage, last year alone, up 74 percent and 80 percent, respectively, from the cost they faced just 10 years earlier. However, when it comes to the return on that spending they saw, it seems Minnesotans were in the best position overall, according to new research from the consumer savings site WalletHub. When comparing health rankings, death rates, and the amount spent on care, Minnesota ranked third, second, and first, respectively. That made it the state in which consumers could most affordably find high-quality care in the U.S. (excluding three states for which all data was not available).

Rounding out the top three were Utah and Kansas, while Hawaii and Iowa tied for fourth, according to the report. Hawaii had the best overall health rating of any state, while California (ranked No. 19 overall) had the lowest death rate.

Bringing up the rear...
Meanwhile, Mississippi was the state in which return on investment for health care was the lowest, ranking 50th in terms of both overall health and death rate, as well as 34th in costs, the report said. Other southern states - Louisiana, Arkansas, and West Virginia - also made the bottom five, as did Indiana.

The three states that were not ranked in all three categories were Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont, but they would generally have been pretty high up on the list, based on the report. Health care costs information for these three states was not available. Vermont, though, was second in care quality and 11th in death rate, Maine was 16th and 24th in those two categories, respectively, while Rhode Island was 19th and 12th.

Health insurance companies might want to highlight to consumers the ways in which they might be able to reduce their costs for coverage and find more affordable care as a means of making the process more affordable overall. Those that find the most success in doing so will likely see a larger number of policyholders going forward.

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