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10 Worst States for Health-Care Costs
Here are the ten worst states for health-care policy cost in the U.S., according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Health Care Bill Stethoscope

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council released last week its "Health Care Policy Cost Index 2012," which ranks the states and the District of Columbia on public policy measures that impact the costs of health-care and health-insurance coverage. Here are the ten worst states for health-care policy costs in the U.S., according to the study.

7. New York, N.Y.

No. 1: New York

The SBE Council's index ranks the states according to eight policy measures that impact the cost of health-care for small businesses.

Maine75Mph

No. 2: Maine

The first measure taken into account is Health Savings Accounts (HSA), or tax-free savings accounts that are owned and controlled by individuals. If states provided a tax deduction for individuals making contributions to HSAs or imposing no personal income tax receive a zero, while those that don’t provide a deduction receive a one. Maine scored a zero on this measure.

Boston Skyline in Massachusetts

No. 3: Massachusetts 

Another measure the index uses is Guaranteed Issue for Self-Employed Group of One (GI/SE), meaning individuals may not be turned down for health insurance coverage, no matter the condition of their health or risk status. A GI mandate raises health-care costs for the self-employed, in this case, the study said.  States with GI scored a one, and those not imposing a GI scored a zero. Massachusetts scored a one on this measure.

Rhode Island

No. 4: Rhode Island

Community Rating for Small Group Market (CR/SG) mandates that an insurer charge the same price for everyone in a defined region, regardless of their varying health care risks. Everyone would pay the same price for coverage. The index rated states imposing rate bands with a score of 0.33; states imposing adjusted community rating with a score of 0.66; states imposing pure community rating with a score of one, and a state not imposing community rating with a score of zero. Rhode Island received a one on this measure.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)

Skiing Vermont

No. 5: Vermont

The index also measured Guaranteed Issue for Individual Market (GI/Ind.), which means that people may not be turned down for health insurance no matter their condition, health or risk status. If there is an imposed state mandate for GI in the individual market the state scored a one, for some imposed products states scored .5, and states without an imposed mandate scored a zero. For this measure, Vermont received a one.

REUTERS/Mike Segar 

New Jersey

No. 6: New Jersey

Community Rating for Individual Market (CR/Ind.) was also measured for the index. This mandates an insurer charge the same price for everyone regardless of health risks. If the state imposes rate bands, it scored a .33; those that impose adjusted CR scored .66; states imposing pure community ratings scored a one and those without a community rating mandate imposed scored zero. New Jersey scored a 0.66 for this measure.

5_seattle

No. 7: Washington

The next measure in the index is State High-Risk Pools (HRP). For those that cannot get health coverage due to pre-existing conditions, some states set up these HRPs. States with these pools scored zeroes and states without HRPs scored one.Washington does not implement such pools and scored a zero for this measure.

Connecticut

No. 8: Connecticut

The SBE Council also measured the number of mandates. Beyond regulations like GI and CR, state laws impose a host of mandated benefits on insurers. These carry sometimes significant costs, the survey said. Each state was given a score of 0.05 for each mandate it imposes. Connecticut scored a 2.95 on this measure.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)

10. Washington, D.C.

No. 9: Washington, D.C. 

Per capita Medicaid spending is measured, because it is a significant cost for tax payers, the survey found. The measurement of this was per capita Medicaid expenditures. Washington D.C. received a 2.30 on this measure.

Portland Airport3

No. 10: Oregon

Oregon rounds out the top 10 worst states for health care policy cost. Overall, Oregon scored a 5.08 in the index.

Port of Portland

10 Worst States for Health-Care Costs

Here are the ten worst states for health-care policy cost in the U.S., according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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