A doctor sitting next to a patient in an examination room looking up test results on a clipboard.

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That horrible doctor’s bill is a little less painful in these states.

Key Point

  • The cost of health insurance depends on where you live and the type of care you need.
  • Cost is not the only factor to consider when evaluating a healthcare provider.
  • Research your options ahead of time if possible and consider the quality of care provided.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began over two years ago, healthcare has been a top priority for many. Both because I want to stay healthy and because I don’t want to deal with the huge bills that come from the simplest of visits.

But the care you need isn’t the only price you pay. Where you live is also a factor. Here are the five states with the lowest average medical costs in the United States.

5 states with the lowest average medical costs

As of the second quarter of 2022, these five states will have the lowest healthcare costs on average, according to the Missouri Center for Economic Research and Information.

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  1. Kentucky (20.9% cheaper than the national average)
  2. Arkansas (18.8% cheaper)
  3. Maryland (11.9% cheaper)
  4. Alabama (10.4% cheaper)
  5. Tennessee (10.1% cheaper)

Puerto Rico also deserves a mention here, although not technically a state. Health care is cheaper than anywhere in the United States, with average prices about 27.3% lower than the national average.

You might think these numbers are pretty impressive, especially if you live in one of the states above. Ultimately, what matters most is getting quality care when you need it.

Assessing the state in this way, the story looks very different. Of her five states above, only Maryland ranks high (her sixth overall) for access and quality of healthcare, according to US News and World Report. All other qualities rank below 40th.

However, it is important to remember that all of the above numbers are statewide averages and do not reflect the cost or quality of individual providers or hospitals. It’s likely to be seen, so it’s largely up to you to do the research necessary to find affordable, quality care.

How to Find Great Healthcare at Affordable Prices

For most of us, health care options are limited by geography. Most of us are not going to drive hundreds of miles to get care unless we have a very specific need. may be selected. Research hospitals in your area and check our rankings to see which ones offer the best care.

If you have private health insurance, research the coverage available each year to see if you can find better coverage than your current coverage. Don’t just focus on the lowest premium. Make sure the policy you choose covers all the tests and procedures you and your family may need. Otherwise, you may need to empty your bank account to pay for medical bills not covered by your insurance.

Stay aware of your health insurance provider network and avoid visiting providers outside your network unless it is an emergency. Using a doctor outside your insurance company’s network can significantly increase your bill.

And most importantly, do your best to stay healthy. Eat right, get about eight hours of sleep each night, and make time to exercise regularly. Also take advantage of the free health checks offered by your health insurance company for early detection of potential problems. Doing these things leads to great rewards, both physically and financially.

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