Health care access is worth one-third of the weight in ranking the Best States for health care. Six metrics contributed to the rankings: child wellness visits, health insurance enrollment, adult wellness visits, adult dental visits, child dental visits and health care affordability. While many Americans have access to quality health care, others face barriers, such as lack of insurance, that prevent them from receiving basic health services. The lack of access to quality health care increases the financial and public health burden on state residents as individuals and as a population.
The Best State for health care access is Massachusetts, which also ranks fifth for health care and is the No. 8 overall state. Hawaii, the No. 1 state for the health care category, places second in the health care access subcategory. Four other New England states also make the top 10: Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. The worst state for health care access, Alaska, ranks fourth for health care quality. Six of the bottom-10 states for health care access are in the Southeast or Southwest: Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia and Alabama.