Healthcare affordability scorecard: Where does your state rank?

Massachusetts topped the list of a new scorecard rating states on their adoption of policies to improve affordability of healthcare, but no state earned a perfect score.

"The Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard," which Altarum's Healthcare Value Hub released Jan. 7, shows many states have work to do to address the affordability of healthcare for residents. It also provides a guide for each state on where to focus regulatory and reform efforts. For example, the report said Massachusetts should enact stronger protections against surprise medical bills and pursue additional strategies to reduce the cost of high-value care.

Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization, rated 42 states and the District of Columbia on four policy areas:

  • Extending coverage
  • Lowering out-of-pocket costs
  • Reducing low-value care, and
  • Curbing excess prices

Since a state's outcome could be independent of the policies they have, states were also rated on their outcomes in the following areas:

  • Percent of population that is uninsured
  • Percent of population that is forgoing needed care, delaying care or struggling with medical bills, and
  • Rates of known low-vale services delivered by providers, and
  • Private payer prices relative to the national median

The scorecard is retrospective and only scored states on policies implemented as of Dec. 31, 2019. Each state received a policy score and an outcome score, and the two were combined for the overall ranking. Alabama, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming did not receive an overall ranking because of inadequate data. Access more information about the methodology used for the scorecard here.

Here are the overall rankings for each state:

1. Massachusetts

2. Maryland

3. Oregon

4. Minnesota

5. New York

6. California

7. Washington

8. Rhode Island

9. Maine

10. Connecticut

11. Colorado

12. New Jersey

13. Delaware

14. Virginia

15. District of Columbia

16. New Mexico

17. New Hampshire

18. Wisconsin

19. Illinois

20. Pennsylvania

21. Iowa

22. Michigan

23. Arizona

24. South Carolina

25. Arkansas

26. Ohio

27. Missouri

28. Florida

29. Kansas

30. North Carolina

31. Kentucky

32. Louisiana

33. Indiana

34. Texas

35. Utah

36. Alaska

37. Tennessee

38. Nebraska

39. Nevada

40. Idaho

41. Georgia

42. Oklahoma

43. Mississippi

More articles on rankings and ratings:

14 highest-paying healthcare jobs in 2020
America's Health Rankings: How all 50 states fared
US states ranked by suicide rate

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