Kids are expensive, and health care is even more so. Personal finance website WalletHub released its report on 2023’s best and worst states for children’s healthcare. Texas came in as the second worst.
To determine the ranking, WalletHub compared 33 key metrics across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to find which states provide the most cost-effective and high-quality health care for children. The metrics included the percentage of children from 0 to 17 years old, in excellent or very good health, as well as the number of pediatricians and family doctors per capita.
Research indicates that workers pay an average of over $6,100 per year toward employer-sponsored family coverage. But the cost is not the only important factor. Other factors that impact children’s health include the quality of the healthcare system and environmental factors like the availability of nutritional food and access to fluoridated water.
Texas’ overall score was 44 out of 100, which may not seem too bad. But compared to other 50 states, Texas ranked 50th for access to health care, 45th for nutrition, physical activity and obesity and 39th for oral health. The state also has the most uninsured children in the U.S. and is third to last for the percentage of children with very good health.
The Lone Star State came in just above Mississippi, which has worse access to pediatric health care, but better nutrition, physical activity and obesity and oral health.
Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Vermont and Hawaii ranked in the top 5 with high-ranking scores in each category.
Expert Derek S. Brown, Associate Professor, at Brown School, said important steps parents should take are routine preventive health care, including dental care, regular physical activity, good nutrition, limited screen time, regular school attendance and daily engagement with a parent or guardian.
To read the full study visit wallethub.com.