Senior Americans are constantly hunting for affordable, quality healthcare, and more U.S. adults are graying all the time. Each day, 10,000 Baby Boomers celebrate their 65th birthday.
That number will double in a few decades, leading to 20% of the U.S. population having surpassed that milestone by 2050.
Medicare of course plays a central part in healthcare for adults over 65 (nearly 63 million enrolled in 2020). Yet they don’t all experience the same quality of care. Where you live matters.
MedicareGuide, which is part of the consumer health information website HealthCare.com, compared the states on measurements of cost, quality of care, and access to care. MedicareGuide looked at multiple factors such as prescription drug prices, doctors per capita and life expectancy to determine which states offered the best (and worst) healthcare for adults over 65.
The study compared all 50 states and Washington, D.C. to find out how they rank across measures of cost, access and quality.
Overall top-ranked Minnesota was rated best for average monthly insurance premiums. North Dakota, ranked second overall, scored best in terms of prescription drug prices per capita, according to the data.
The cost category includes out-of-pocket medical spending, while the quality measure analyzes mortality rates for heart disease, cancer and stroke, among other factors. Access includes rates of geriatricians, nurse practitioners and home health aides per capita.
Here are the states with the 10 best rankings:
- Minnesota (66.70)
- North Dakota (65.02)
- Massachusetts (62.17)
- California (61.72)
- Nebraska (61.55)
- Hawaii (60.85)
- Montana (60.61)
- Colorado (60.53)
- Iowa (60.41)
- Connecticut (60.02)
States in the Southeast tended to fall near the bottom of the rankings. The MedicareGuide rankings had Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi at 40 and below.
The bottom five consisted of Louisiana (38.75), Mississippi (38.09), District of Columbia (38.04), Georgia (35.36) and faring worst, according to MedicareGuide, was Oklahoma (34.74), scoring barely half of high as Minnesota. Poor access to primary care particularly in rural parts of the state were a big reason Oklahoma ranked last.