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Pre-flu season intel: These are the best (and worst) states for health care


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Photo: Getty Images/Innocenti

Where you decide to put down roots depends on many factors: your proximity to the nearest body of water, how close—or far—it is from family, and of course, how easy it is to find a decent matcha latte. But in the interest of #adulting, there’s one more major factor to consider before schlepping your belongings across state lines: the quality of the your new stomping grounds’ health care offerings (especially since flu season is right around the corner).

By analyzing data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia taken from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, WalletHub scored and ranked each state’s health care conditions based on metrics within three categories: cost, accessibility, and outcome. Even though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that 88.1 percent of Americans have a go-to place for receiving medical treatment, the cost and quality of said treatment varies greatly from state to state, so this intel is good to have.

Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Hawaii came out on top with the best overall care. Arkansas, Alaska, Mississippi, and Louisiana came in dead last.

Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Hawaii came out on top with the best overall care based on the data collected. Arkansas, Alaska, Mississippi, and Louisiana came in dead last with a nearly 26 point overall margin of difference between the frontrunner (Vermont) and the state with the least impressive health care data (Louisiana).

Unsurprisingly, four out of the five leading states (Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, and Minnesota) also fell in the top five ranking for insured adults age 18-64, according to the report. On the flip side, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Mississippi were found to have the lowest percent of insured folks within the same age range. Massachusetts, Utah, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Nevada proved to be the best states for frugal health care with the lowest average monthly premiums, while Alaska, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Oklahoma basically broke the health care bank.

So while living your best beach life in a sunny Southern state may increase your odds of making through the winter, flu-free, weighing other key wellbeing factors like premiums, accessibility, and best possible health outcomes is important, too (especially sub-Mason Dixon states in general received lower ranking than their Northern counterparts). Maybe we should all really just move to Hawaii.

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