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Updated: August 4, 2022

Maine ranks among top 10 states for health care

WalletHub map showing Maine as No. 9 Courtesy / WallerHub Maine is No. 9 overall for health care in a new WalletHub ranking of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

In a new readout on U.S. states with the best health care, Maine ranks among the top 10 overall and second-best in terms of access, just behind Massachusetts.

To determine where Americans receive the best and worst care, personal finance website WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 52 measures of cost, accessibility and outcomes.

Maine received an overall ranking of No. 9, two places ahead of New Hampshire, No. 11, but lagging behind other New England peers.

Rhode Island topped the list at No. 1, while Massachusetts was No. 2 with top marks in the access and outcomes categories. Elsewhere in the region, Vermont was No. 6 overall and Connecticut was No. 8.

Mississippi ranked last, with Alabama at No. 50 and Louisiana at No. 49.

Factors used to measure access include the percentage of residents age 12 and older fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the number of hospital beds per capita, the number of physicians per capita, and the average emergency room wait time.

While scoring second-best for access, Maine ranked No. 14 for outcomes, based on metrics including infant mortality rate and life expectancy. The state was No. 34 for cost, which examined factors including the cost of a medical visit and average hospital expenses per inpatient day at community hospitals.

"Finding good health care at the right price point should be a priority for all Americans during the current public health situation," WalletHub wrote in its findings, citing recent data that show the average American spends more than $12,500 a year on personal health care.

"That's a daunting statistic considering that many Americans have already been hurt financially by the impact of the pandemic."

The full WalletHub report is available here.

Uninsured rate drops 

Separately, a new federal report out this week shows the number of Mainers without health insurance dropped nearly 5% among those eligible for expanded Medicaid benefits from 2018 to 2020, the third-largest decline in the nation.

"Expanding health care was the right thing to do for our people and for our economy," said Gov. Janet Mills, the Democratic incumbent running for reelection this year against Republican Paul R. LePage, her predecessor. 

"Nearly 98,000 people across Maine can see a doctor, afford medications and receive preventive care to keep them healthy — which is important as we recover from the pandemic," she added. "My administration will continue to fight for more accessible and affordable health care for all Maine people."

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