Maryland Ranks as 18th Healthiest State

For the second year in a row, Maryland ranks as the 18th healthiest state in the country according to a United Health Foundation report.

The Baltimore Business Journal reports:

The United Health Foundation released its 27th annual America’s Health Rankings report Thursday. It detailed state and national data regarding key health indicators like smoking, drug deaths and uninsured rates. Maryland also ranked at No. 18 on last year’s report.

Some improvements this year in Maryland health indicators include:

-A 39 percent decrease in preventable hospitalizations over the past eight years.

-An 8 percent decrease in excessive drinking, from 16.8 percent to 15.5 percent of adults in the past year. (Below the national average of 17.7 percent.)

Some ongoing health challenges for Maryland include:

-A 30 percent increase in drug deaths over the past three years, from 11.8 to 15.3 deaths per 100,000.

-Continued violent crime rates, low birthweight rates (8.6 percent of live births) and infant mortality rates (6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births) all above national averages.

In other good health news, Maryland has seen an increase in insurance rates and lower premiums under the Affordable Care Act, as The Baltimore Business Journal also reports:

The uninsured rate in Maryland has fallen by 42 percent since 2010, translating to about 278,000 Marylanders gaining health care coverage, with many more seeing increased Medicaid, Medicare and employer plan benefits, according to a new federal report.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an extensive analysis of state-level data Tuesday illustrating the impact of the Affordable Care Act over the past six years. The report comes as debate continues over what would happen to America’s health care system if the Trump Administration follows through on promises to “repeal and replace” the health care law.

For more information:

27th Annual America’s Health Ranking Report (United Health Foundation)

Maryland Remains 18th Healthiest State in the Country (Baltimore Business Journal)

Marylanders Have More Coverage, Lower Overall Premium Increases Under Obamacare, New Fed Report Shows (Baltimore Business Journal)

HHS Report on Impacts of the Affordable Care Act