The Peach State is not a good landing place for cancer care, according to a recent study.
The results follow a study conducted by Lending Tree’s ValuePenguin.com, which examined the cheapest health insurance premium, the out-of-pocket maximum, the status of Medicaid expansion, the cancer death rate per 100,000 people and the number of hospitals per 100,000 people.
Georgia tied with Wisconsin and Oklahoma as the bottom tier in the nation while Minnesota claimed the top spot.
Analysts with ValuePenguin.com named two traits in common among the lowest-scoring states: high out-of-pocket maximums and the inability to qualify for cost savings on marketplace health care insurance.
Among the other key findings in the report:
- Georgia, Oklahoma and Wisconsin placed at the bottom with a Cancer Care score of 9 points out of 20 due to the high costs of healthcare. Missouri, Wyoming, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee also fared poorly with a Cancer care score of just 10 points out of 20. Unlike in the best-scoring states, affordability is an issue in almost all of these states.
- High Health insurance costs, high out-of-pocket maximums, and a lack of access to expanded Medicaid decreases access to cancer care: Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, West Virginia, Wyoming, Missouri and Oklahoma – which scored the lowest cancer care ratings – had some of the most expensive health insurance premiums in the U.S. And in 9 out the 10 lowest scoring states, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,550, the maximum amount allowed by law.
- States without expanded Medicaid have higher uninsured rates, and less access to cancer care: The 10 lowest scoring states haven’t implemented expanded Medicaid — although Oklahoma and Missouri is set to expand later in 2021. With the exception of Tennessee, Wisconsin and Missouri, these states also have a higher than average percentage of residents who don’t have any form of health insurance coverage.
According to Andrew Hurst, an Insurance Data Analyst at ValuePenguin.com, “Americans who put off getting preventative care due to worries over high healthcare costs, face the huge risk of being diagnosed with cancer at a late stage, when the disease is harder to treat, more costly and more difficult to survive.” He adds, “Through this study – I aim to encourage Americans to educate themselves on the potential cost of treatment and access to care in their states, and advocate for greater access to affordable cancer care.”