Finest and Worst Situations for Retirement Well being Care
The quality of health care that Medicare’s 63 million beneficiaries receive largely depends on where they live, a new study found. Some states offer higher levels of access and care than others, which should be an important consideration for retirement, especially if plans include moving house.
“Tax rates and climate are only part of the picture. Your health care should be part of that decision-making process, too, ”said Jeff Smedsrud, co-founder of MedicareGuide, which published a federal ranking of health care for the elderly. “We all have to stand up for ourselves, we all have to shop for ourselves and we all have to get the most out of the health system.”
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The analysis rated the 50 states plus Washington, DC on 24 relevant metrics categorized by cost, access, and quality to determine which states offer the best and worst health care for adults over 65.
Four of the ten highest-ranking states are in the Midwest. Minnesota has the best overall health care in the country for older Americans while also being a leader in two categories: Best Average Monthly Insurance and Heart Disease Mortality.
North Dakota (No. 2), Nebraska (No. 5) and Iowa (No. 9) – all located inland – fell into the top 10 according to the Medicare Guide. The other top six states included: Massachusetts (No. 3); California (No. 4), Hawaii (No. 6); Montana (No. 7); Colorado (No. 8) and Connecticut (No. 10).
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At the other end of the spectrum were states like Oklahoma, which came last (51st); Georgia (No. 50); Washington, DC (No. 49); Mississippi (No. 48) and Louisiana (No. 47). All five performed at the lower end of the scale in terms of quality and access for expensive health care.
Washington, DC was ranked worst for medical expenses; Mississippi had the worst Alzheimer’s mortality and median life expectancy at birth and the lowest doctors per capita; Louisiana has the worst public hospital system; and Oklahoma has the highest mortality from heart disease.
The story goes on
Minnesota has the best overall health care in the country for older Americans while also being a leader in two categories: Best Average Monthly Insurance and Heart Disease Mortality. (Photo: Getty)
Smedsrud didn’t find the results too surprising given that government spending is a factor, he explained. The overall score “shows some pretty clear differences between experiences” depending on where retirees choose to spend their golden years.
“There is a cause and an effect,” said Smedsrud.
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Among the states that have invested in programs such as health care and education in the past, their health networks have been among the most robust in the country. On the flip side, “the lower ones,” he said, were more likely to show “education funding and nutrition-related issues.”
“If [states] invest long-term [to improve] Access to health care, health insurance, education, food and safety, “said Smedsrud,” will get you better results for the people. “
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Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.
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