For a nation that spends more than two times as much as other industrialized countries— totaling almost $3 trillion a year— on health care costs, it would stand to reason that Americans should be the picture of health. But in reality, we have shorter life spans, higher infant death rates and more cases of chronic illness than other wealthy countries, according to a new report from WalletHub.
For their analysis of “2014's States with the Best & Worst Health ROI,” WalletHub used data from 47 states to create a health-related return on investment (ROI) metric to determine which states give you the best quality of care for your money – and which ones fall flat. For each state, they looked at the death rates, rank on America’s Health Rankings and average individual insurance premiums.
Since 2003, the average annual health insurance premium for a single person increased by 74 percent and family coverage increased by 80 percent. And now, with health care costs inflating while the country sees its largest health care expansion since Medicare and Medicaid, WalletHub decided to find out: What are we actually getting for our money?
Here are the top 10 states where you’ll get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your health:
States With the Best Health ROI
4. TIE: Hawaii & Iowa
States With the Worst Health ROI
4. West Virginia
6. South Carolina
8. TIE: Ohio & Alabama
WalletHub analysts noted that Minnesota has the lowest health care costs, with an average insurance premium of just $2,292, while Alaska has the highest, coming in at $5,424.
California residents are living longer, but Mississippi — where analysts found the highest death rates (adjusted for age) — were not so lucky.
The study also found that residents in blue states get a better overall health ROI than those in red states.
Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont were not included in the study because of limited data.