Georgia among the worst states for health care, analysis finds

11 of the bottom 12 states in WalletHub study are in the South

If you want to live in a state with great health care, start packing your bags. You’re going to need to move the the Northeast or Midwest — anywhere but the South.

According to WalletHub’s Best and Worst States for Heath Care 2023, 11 of the bottom 12 states are in the South: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. The 12th state is Alaska, coming in at No. 49.

To determine its rankings, the financial website compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: cost, access and outcomes.

It then evaluated those dimensions using 44 relevant metrics, each of which was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the best health care at the most reasonable cost.

Georgia, with an overall score of 48.79, finished No. 44. That’s the eighth worst on the list. In addition to ranking No. 32 for cost, No. 45 for access and No. 44 for outcomes, the Peach State was:

  • 42nd for hospital beds per capita
  • 42nd for physicians per capita
  • 37th for dentists per capita
  • 48th for percentage of insured adults
  • 44th for percentage of insured children
  • 42nd for percentage of adults with no dental visit in past year
  • 16th for percentage of medical residents retained

The average American spends $12,914 a year on personal health care, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Finding good health care at the right price isn’t easy, WalletHub reports.

But it might be easier in Minnesota, ranked No. 1 by the analysis with an overall score of 64.96. The North Star State was tops for cost, No. 7 for access and No. 15 for outcomes.

It’s followed closely by Iowa (64.45) and Rhode Island (64.22).

How can you minimize your health care costs? Use preventive services, Maria ‘Mia’ Livaudais told WalletHub.

“Make appointments to see your primary care physician, become familiar with telehealth services provided by your insurer, and stay on top of screenings, vaccines and check-ups” the assistant professor of health sciences at California State University-East Bay said.

“The majority of insurers fully cover preventive services without cost sharing as long as the providers are in-network. Taking advantage of these services will help you stay healthy, address health issues early on and minimize health-related expenditures.”