Healthcare Costs Across America

Written by Carly Hallman

Who pays the most for health care?

This short analysis of multiple factors studies the average health care cost by state, including the price tags on hospital stays, the average out-of-pocket amount that employees are expected to pay, and how much states spend on care overall.
This breakdown of different health care costs by state can help us understand the wide financial gaps across America. Some people in this country (like those in New Hampshire, who pay an average of $3,803 yearly for health care) are spending more than double compared to others (like those in Hawaii, who only pay $1,461). Which states get the best, cheapest care, and which states get the worst, most expensive care? Check out these incredible statistics!

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Health-Care Costs Across America Transcript

States Sized by Total Annual Health-Care Spending Per Capita1

State Total Health Spending Per Capita
Alabama $7,236.81
Alaska $10,925.12
Arizona $6,154.52
Arkansas $7,329.98
California $7,390.99
Colorado $6,462.40
Connecticut $9,924.68
Delaware $9,985.90
District of Columbia $11,374.89
Florida $7,656.07
Georgia $6,376.05
Hawaii $7,219.49
Idaho $6,603.63
Illinois $8,328.56
Indiana $8,227.60
Iowa $8,097.82
Kansas $7,628.64
Kentucky $7,938.94
Louisiana $7,737.78
Maine $9,511.78
Maryland $8,501.28
Massachusetts $10,421.21
Michigan $8,036.52
Minnesota $8,704.86
Mississippi $7,656.80
Missouri $8,042.33
Montana $7,986.01
Nebraska $8,239.14
Nevada $6,347.71
New Hampshire $9,512.65
New Jersey $8,830.72
New Mexico $7,218.61
New York $9,765.75
North Carolina $7,034.24
North Dakota $9,602.55
Ohio $8,690.30
Oklahoma $7,506.90
Oregon $7,668.84
Pennsylvania $9,268.46
Rhode Island $9,525.70
South Carolina $7,021.32
South Dakota $8,724.05
Tennessee $7,193.47
Texas $6,663.91
Utah $5,654.92
Vermont $10,253.57
Virginia $7,432.21
Washington $7,527.13
West Virginia $9,604.37
Wisconsin $8,655.11
Wyoming $8,308.71

Costs of Health-Care Expenses by State

Ordered by Average Total Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs

State Average Employee Deductible2 Average Total Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs2 Expenses per Hospital Inpatient Day3
Alabama $1,991 $5,876 $1,554
Alaska $2,921 $8,058 $2,947
Arizona $3,125 $8,060 $2,641
Arkansas $2,791 $6,742 $1,765
California $2,780 $7,016 $3,441
Colorado $3,223 $7,395 $2,920
Connecticut $3,448 $7,868 $2,688
Delaware $3,154 $8,279 $3,026
District of Columbia $1,979 $5,695 $3,053
Florida $3,444 $7,827 $2,102
Georgia $3,309 $7,812 $1,798
Hawaii $1,461 $4,664 $2,322
Idaho $2,612 $6,197 $3,119
Illinois $2,722 $6,516 $2,515
Indiana $3,558 $7,462 $2,508
Iowa $3,059 $6,646 $1,558
Kansas $3,016 $7,001 $1,787
Kentucky $3,138 $7,136 $1,950
Louisiana $2,457 $7,251 $1,956
Maine $3,631 $7,639 $2,357
Maryland $2,496 $7,481 $2,748
Massachusetts $2,368 $6,796 $3,016
Michigan $2,382 $5,453 $2,318
Minnesota $3,321 $7,463 $2,329
Mississippi $3,091 $7,327 $1,349
Missouri $3,247 $7,127 $2,274
Montana $3,048 $7,005 $1,070
Nebraska $3,791 $7,897 $1,915
Nevada $2,749 $7,116 $1,985
New Hampshire $3,803 $8,289 $2,597
New Jersey $2,496 $7,002 $2,632
New Mexico $2,474 $6,652 $2,617
New York $2,776 $7,393 $2,729
North Carolina $3,260 $8,015 $2,098
North Dakota $2,675 $6,511 $1,831
Ohio $3,021 $6,563 $2,733
Oklahoma $2,912 $7,826 $1,930
Oregon $2,905 $6,769 $3,599
Pennsylvania $2,720 $7,134 $2,397
Rhode Island $3,052 $7,486 $2,740
South Carolina $2,882 $7,137 $2,047
South Dakota $3,492 $8,286 $1,505
Tennessee $3,553 $7,900 $1,984
Texas $3,452 $8,239 $2,520
Utah $3,575 $7,320 $3,026
Vermont $3,186 $7,264 $2,440
Virginia $3,034 $8,104 $1,953
Washington $2,551 $6,258 $3,429
West Virginia $2,878 $6,053 $1,986
Wisconsin $3,332 $7,379 $2,501
Wyoming $2,756 $6,804 $1,520

Sources:

  1. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Health Care Expenditures by State of Residence, 2017 https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/health-care-expenditures-by-state-of-residence-in-millions/
  2. The Commonwealth Fund Trends in Employer Insurance Costs, 2017 Employee Deductible Cost (Combined Average) and Total Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs (Employee Contribution + Deductible) https://www.commonwealthfund.org/sites/default/files/2018-12/2018_Premiums_Brief_State_Profiles_ALL.pdf
  3. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Hospital Adjusted Expenses per Inpatient Day, 2017 https://www.kff.org/health-costs/state-indicator/expenses-per-inpatient-day/

How Much Does Health Care Cost in the United States?

The average total cost of health care in the U.S. is a whopping $10,739 per person, with out-of-pocket spending at about 10% of the total National Health Expenditure (NHE). The total NHE is at $3.5 trillion, or 17.9% of the country’s total GDP. That’s a lot of money for health care.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average health care insurance cost is $6,896 yearly for single coverage and $19,616 yearly for family coverage.

Health care in the United States is an expensive business, with many families struggling to pay for coverage. These are national averages; they don’t paint the whole picture. Let’s look at the cost for health insurance by state.

Average Health Insurance Cost by State

The Commonwealth Fund conducted a health insurance cost comparison by state that digs into the nitty-gritty of insurance, including average deductibles, average out-of-pocket costs, and a lot more. The average cost of health insurance per month by state varies a great deal, but total out-of-pocket costs often hover around 9-15% of the median income for the state. There are exceptions, though. For example, Hawaii’s out-of-pocket average is only 8% of the median income; Louisiana’s is 16%. Another thing to perhaps consider is the unexpected costs that can happen during emergencies. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) breaks down the average hospital stay costs per state as well.

The 10 States With the Highest Employee Deductibles

  1. New Hampshire — Average Employee Deductible: $3,803
  2. Nebraska — Average Employee Deductible: $3,791
  3. Maine — Average Employee Deductible: $3,631
  4. Utah — Average Employee Deductible: $3,575
  5. Indiana — Average Employee Deductible: $3,558
  6. Tennessee — Average Employee Deductible: $3,553
  7. South Dakota — Average Employee Deductible: $3,492
  8. Texas — Average Employee Deductible: $3,452
  9. Connecticut — Average Employee Deductible: $3,448
  10. Florida — Average Employee Deductible: $3,444

The 10 States With the Highest Average Out-of-Pocket Costs for Employees

  1. New Hampshire — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,289
  2. South Dakota — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,286
  3. Delaware — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,279
  4. Texas — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,239
  5. Virginia — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,104
  6. Arizona — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,060
  7. Alaska — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,058
  8. North Carolina — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $8,015
  9. Tennessee — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $7,900
  10. Nebraska — Average Potential Out-of-Pocket Costs: $7,897

The 10 States With the Most Expensive Hospital Stays

  1. Oregon — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,599
  2. California — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3441
  3. Washington — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,429
  4. Idaho — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,119
  5. District of Columbia — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,053
  6. Delaware — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,026
  7. Utah — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,026
  8. Massachusetts — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $3,106
  9. Alaska — Average Hospital Inpatient Day Cost: $2,947
  10. Colorado — Average Hospital Inpatient Day: $2,920

On the cheaper end, Hawaii has the lowest average employee deductible ($1,461) as well as the lowest out-of-pocket costs ($4,664). The cheapest hospital stays are in Montana ($1,070).

Average Health Care Cost by State Overall

That’s how much an individual can spend on their insurance, but state spending as a whole can be a completely different ballgame. Here’s a short health care cost comparison by state based on KFF’s data.

The 10 States That Spend the Most on Health Care

  1. California — Total Statewide Health Spending: $292 billion
  2. New York — Total Statewide Health Spending: $193 billion
  3. Texas — Total Statewide Health Spending: $189 billion
  4. Florida — Total Statewide Health Spending: $161 billion
  5. Pennsylvania — Total Statewide Health Spending: $118 billion
  6. Illinois — Total Statewide Health Spending: $106 billion
  7. Ohio — Total Statewide Health Spending: $101 billion
  8. Michigan — Total Statewide Health Spending: $80 billion
  9. New Jersey — Total Statewide Health Spending: $79 billion
  10. North Carolina — Total Statewide Health Spending: $72 billion

The states that spend the least on health care are Wyoming ($4.8 billion) and Vermont ($6.4 billion).

The 10 States That Spend the Most on Health Care per Capita

  1. District of Columbia — Health Spending per Capita: $11,944
  2. Alaska — Health Spending per Capita: $11,064
  3. Massachusetts — Health Spending per Capita: $10,559
  4. Delaware — Health Spending per Capita: $10,245
  5. Vermont — Health Spending per Capita: $10,190
  6. Connecticut — Health Spending per Capita: $9,859
  7. North Dakota — Health Spending per Capita: $9,851
  8. New York — Health Spending per Capita: $9,778
  9. New Hampshire — Health Spending per Capita: $9,589
  10. Rhode Island — Health Spending per Capita: $9,551

The state with the lowest amount of per-capita spending on health care is Utah ($5,982).

Considering the Quality of Care by State

While these costs can be important, it’s also important to find out which are the states with the best health care. Naturally, this depends on many factors, and many organizations have their own U.S. health care ranking by state. Here are some sources to consider:

AHRQ Top 10 List of States With the Best-Quality Health Care

This list is created by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, using a massive study that factors in 250 measures:

  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

U.S. News’s Health Care Rankings

This ranking compiled by U.S. News focuses on public health, health care quality, and care access, all of which take into account multiple factors.

  1. Hawaii
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. Washington
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. California
  8. Maryland
  9. Utah
  10. Minnesota

The states with the best health care may also happen to have some of the cheapest care for their citizens, as in Hawaii and Utah, but there are many factors to be considered.


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