The U.S. health care system faced new levels of scrutiny in the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There were shortages of medical masks, ICU beds, as well as nurses. But even before the pandemic, some states were much better equipped to handle both everyday health needs -- and the pandemic -- than others.

There are many states in which residents are much more likely to lack health care insurance. In many of these states, there are also fewer medical professionals relative to the population, which can hinder access to care, as well as underfunded medical hospitals.

The health care system in Wyoming ranks as the 25th worst in the country.

The health care system in Wyoming ranks worse than half of all other states in the country. This is due in large part to the fact that 12.3% of residents are not insured -- the sixth highest percentage among states and well above the national uninsured rate of 9.2%.

Uninsured Americans tend to have worse health outcomes as they often skip needed medical care because the costs can be too high without coverage.

Wyoming residents may also struggle to receive needed medical care due to a lack of doctors. There are just 68.2 physicians in the state per 100,000 residents, well below the concentration nationwide of 75.8 doctors per 100,000 residents.

To identify the states with the worst health care systems, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index comprising six health measures for each state: the share of residents without health insurance, state spending on health care as well as on hospitals per capita, and the number of dentists, doctors, and mental health providers per 100,000 people. Each of these measures was weighted equally in the index. These are the 25 states with the worst health care system

 

RankStateUninsured rateAdults in poor or fair healthPremium contribution, single coverageState spending on health care per capita
25Wyoming12.3%15.3%$96.25$513
24Delaware6.6%16.3%$127.92$480
23Montana8.3%14.1%$93.50$167
22Missouri10.0%19.5%$109.83$332
21Nebraska8.3%13.8%$112.58$151
20Illinois7.4%15.9%$115.17$97
19Kentucky6.4%21.8%$121.08$98
18North Dakota6.9%13.6%$98.50$188
17South Carolina10.8%17.8%$111.58$247
16North Carolina11.3%18.0%$115.92$164
15West Virginia6.7%23.6%$113.08$160
14Oklahoma14.3%20.9%$115.25$223
13South Dakota10.2%13.4%$120.17$178
12Louisiana8.9%21.4%$122.08$101
11Alabama9.7%21.4%$132.75$117
10Arkansas9.1%23.3%$104.42$58
9Florida13.2%19.5%$120.17$225
8Idaho10.8%15.1%$73.08$104
7Tennessee10.1%21.2%$119.25$111
6Indiana8.7%18.2%$121.67$90
5Nevada11.4%19.1%$104.58$93
4Mississippi13.0%22.1%$109.08$133
3Arizona11.3%18.6%$126.92$81
2Georgia13.4%18.4%$108.25$119
1Texas18.4%18.7%$112.92$109