Connecticut was ranked among the top five states for health “outcomes” and the number of children with health insurance, according to WalletHub’s latest analysis.
However, it placed 18th for overall heathcare, while neighboring states New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island landed in 35th, 15th and 22nd place respectively.
WalletHub, the Washington, D.C.-based personal finance website, also found that Minnesota was the best state for healthcare – followed by Maryland, South Dakota, Iowa and Utah – and that Alaska was the worst.
Rounding out WalletHub’s bottom five states for healthcare were: Arkansas, Nevada, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The website’s analysts, in determining things such as costs, access and outcomes, used a number of factors.
These included: the number of hospital beds, doctors and dentists per capita; Medicare acceptance rates; number of adults and children with health insurance; infant mortality; and incidences of cancer or heart disease.
Each category was measured on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the best.
Connecticut landed at No. 4 in the top five states for health outcomes, beaten out only by Hawaii (No. 1), Massachusetts (No. 2), Minnesota (No. 3). Last on that list was Vermont.
It also made it into the top five states for the highest percentage of children ages 0-17 with health insurance. In order, those states were: Massachusetts (1), District of Columbia (2), Vermont (3), Hawaii (4), and Connecticut (5).
Connecticut snagged a total score of 57.39 percent.
As far as healthcare costs were concerned, the Nutmeg State, came in at No. 46. In access to healthcare, it was No. 11.
New York ranked 35th overall and had a total score of 52.46. In healthcare costs, the Empire State was 47th; in access, 18th, and in health outcomes, 20th.
Massachusetts landed at No. 15 on the list with a total score of 58.33 percent.
The Bay State was No. 50 in terms of healthcare costs, No. 7 in access to healthcare, and No. 2 in health outcomes.
Tiny Rhode Island was No. 22 on the list and had and overall score of 54.99 percent.
The Ocean State was No. 50 (healthcare costs), No. 7 (healthcare access) and No. 8 (health outcomes).
The study concluded that, although more Americans than ever before have access to health care, its “cost and quality vary widely from state to state.”
Things that can affect costs, the study found, range from federal legislation and the overall health of residents, to the number of state dependents such as prisoners and the number of folks receiving public assistance.
Citing Pew Charitable Trusts statistics, WalletHub said that every American shells out about $9,500 a year to cover health expenditures.
Two years ago, health spending made up 17.5 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product and by 2025, that’s expected to go up by 2.6 percent, WalletHub reported, citing Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' figures.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, higher healthcare costs don’t always mean better care and treatment, WalletHub said.
The United States lags behind a number of its counterparts in areas such as life expectancy at birth and cost-related barriers to health care access, the study said.
Lastly, they cited changes to watch, such as the recent abandonment of state healthcare exchanges by some large insurance companies and the rise of “telehealth,” defined by the Center for Connected Health Policy as “a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health and education services.”
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