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HCA Holdings Inc (HCA), Health Management Associates Inc (HMA): 7 States With the Highest Health Care Costs

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While many focus on the cost of health insurance premiums, relatively little media attention is being given to the actual cost of health care itself. According to the latest data available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, the annual cost of health care in the U.S. (excluding insurance premiums) is $6,815 per person. Depending on where you live, though, the costs could be much higher.

HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA)

CMS gathers data from all types of health care providers — hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and other providers. It also collects information regarding spending on medical products including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, among others. Based on the agency’s analysis, here are the seven states with the highest health care costs of all.

7. Rhode Island
The smallest state in the U.S. by geographical size doesn’t have equally small health care costs. Rhode Island’s per-capita health care spending of $8,309 is nearly 22% higher than for the nation as a whole.

6. New York
One of the nation’s largest states in terms of population also spends large amounts on health care. New York residents spend $8,341 on health care per capita. This amount is a little more than 22% higher than the U.S. figure.

5. Delaware
Delaware’s state motto is “Liberty and Independence,” but citizens of the state don’t have as much liberty or independence from high medical costs as many of their fellow Americans. The state’s $8,480 health care spending per capita ranks more than 24% higher than that of the entire U.S.

4. Maine
Maine is known for its lobsters, but its medical costs might have even bigger claws. Residents spend $8,521 per person on health care — 25% higher than Americans as a whole.

3. Connecticut
Connecticut claims the third-highest median household income in the U.S. but also ranks No. 3 in the nation for health care spending. The state’s $8,654 per-capita figure amounts to nearly 27% more than that of the entire country.

2. Alaska
Alaska is near the top of the planet — and near the top in health care spending for the nation. Alaskans spend around $9,128 per person on health care. That’s almost 34% higher than the figure for the U.S.

1. Massachusetts
Massachusetts ranks as the biggest spender when it comes to health care. The state’s $9,278 per-capita figure is a whopping 36% higher than that of the entire country. While some might point to “RomneyCare” as the culprit, it’s not. Massachusetts ranked near the top well before the legislation was enacted. We should also note that the District of Columbia, which isn’t technically a state, comes in even higher with $10,349 per capita in health care spending.

Follow the money
Motley Fool readers know that we’re always looking for the investing angle with any story. Is there one here? Let’s follow the money to see if investors might be able to profit.

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