“[H]ealthier children are more likely to succeed in school and grow up to continue to participate in the workforce in the future,” the report found. “A healthy population is thus instrumental in maintaining strong local and state economies, as well as the nation’s economic health and well-being.”
Those states with the worst performance are located almost entirely in the south and southeast United States. Those with the best are mostly in the northeast and Midwest.
In Massachusetts, 36 percent of the non-elderly population earning less than twice the poverty level was uninsured or underinsured — the lowest share in the nation. Ten states had rates of more than 60 percent: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Among some factors, low-income residents in states with the best health systems received better care than higher-income residents in lesser states, according to the report. And there were much smaller disparities among states for high-income individuals. The report concludes that covering more individuals will close the income and geographic gaps.
The report measured 30 indicators grouped into four broad categories: access and affordability, prevention and treatment, potentially avoidable hospital use and healthy lives. The standout leaders were Hawaii, Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Connecticut.