Sydney Kurle | Apr 15, 2021
Hawaii ranked number one in children’s health and access to health care in a study from WalletHub. The study ranked the states based on the quality of health care available to children.
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WalletHub ranked the states from best to worst on 35 key indicators such as cost, quality and access to children’s health care. Hawaii ranked second overall with a score of 60.34, only behind the District of Columbia which received a score of 60.89.
In order to determine the best and worst states for children’s health care, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: childrens’ health & access to health care, childrens’ nutrition, physical activity & obesity and childrens’ Oral Health.
They evaluated these categories using 35 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the best health care for children.
With the current public health crisis, it’s important to guard the health of children, especially now with schools beginning to return to in-person attendance. So while children are less likely to experience serious symptoms from COVID-19, they still contract and spread the disease. Current vaccines also are not available to children under the age of 16.
In 2019, 97.2% of children 18 or younger in Hawaii had some type of health insurance. Employer-sponsored coverage represented 52.5% of covered children, and 31.6% were covered by Medicaid. This includes those covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Other categories in which Hawaii ranked high were the percentage of uninsured children — where the state ranked fourth — and the percentage of children with unaffordable medical bills (second). The state also ranked third in the percentage of overweight children.
Governor David Ige tweeted on Wednesday:
“I’m proud Hawai’i is ranked #1 for kid’s access to healthcare, and #2 overall for children’s health. We know that access to healthcare is so important, including for our keiki.”
However the state ranked second to last in children’s oral health, only above Nevada. The state also ranked 12th in the combined categories of children’s nutrition, physical activity and obesity.