Intriguingly, in a report assessing health care opportunities and outcomes in all 50 states, Hawaii ranked number one.
We often talk about "American health care" like it's a nationwide thing, but it actually varies a whole lot from state to state. Not to say you should pack up and move just for the health care, but if you're looking to save some of your hard-earned cash on medical bills, it should probably be a factor.
WalletHub, a company of financial analysts, just released a comprehensive, illustrated report on America's health care that makes this all a bit easier. The report assessed the health care of every state based on 35 measures of cost, accessibility, and outcomes of health care. Then, they compiled the data and ranked the results.
And Hawaii - home of surfer dudes, volcanoes, bonfires, and Spam - blew away the competition.
It wasn't just the proximity to other states - or lack thereof - that did the trick. Alaska, the other not-so-geographically-united state, ranked 49th on the list. Ouch.
So what was it?
We aren't entirely sure. Average insurance premiums, number of available hospital beds, and infant mortality rates were just a few of the factors considered. Though WalletHub assessed a variety of different variables, all of these factors seem like good indicators of the quality of health care in a given state - and reasonable motivation for whether or not to settle down there.
Alright, so Hawaii is a little far to travel. Where else in America might you want to take root to access more reliable care? Bad news for Southerners: The Southeast scored the lowest of all the regions and housed the worst health care offender, Louisiana. We can only speculate at the factors that might put a strain on health care in the South. But if you're worried about it, maybe just visit for Mardi Gras.
Assuming Hawaii is off your radar for places to call home, the Midwest and the Northeast are your next best bets. Both regions' states scored consistently higher than other regions of the U.S. Iowa ranked second, staking claim to some of the lowest health care costs in the country. Washington, D.C., meanwhile, has stellar health care access and boasts the most hospital beds per capita in the entire nation.
Of course, despite the state's excellent test results, even moving to Hawaii can't absolutely guarantee a life free of hospital debt. That's up to you and your health.
"The best way to avoid health-related expenditures is to be in good health," Tami Gurley-Calvez, director of doctoral studies at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, told WalletHub.
Nancy E. Brune, senior fellow at the University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, advised that Americans should seek preventive care to remain in good health, before health conditions worsen and costs rise.
Regardless of your methods, keeping health care on your mind couldn't hurt. Drinking more wine couldn't hurt, either - word on the street says it's pretty great for your health.