West Virginia health insurance
A guide to affordable health insurance in the Panhandle State
How healthy is it to live in West Virginia? The state is down four spots in the America's Health Rankings® by the United Health Foundation; its 2012 rankings make it the 47th healthiest state to live in.
The good news:
- The state has a low rate of binge drinking.
- At $129 per person, public health funding is high.
The bad news:
- West Virginia has the country's second-highest percentage of adult smokers.
- The state ranks 48th for its rates of sedentary lifestyle, obesity and diabetes.
- The state's immunization rate dropped 5.5 percentage points from 2011 to 2012.
West Virginia's best and worst category rankings:
- Binge Drinking – 2nd
- Public Health Funding – 4th
- Infectious Disease – 9th
- Smoking – 49th
- Preventable Hospitalizations – 49th
- Premature Deaths – 49th
- Cancer Deaths – 49th
- Poor Physical Health Days – 50th
For more details see the United Health Foundation’s latest findings on West Virginia.
Trust for America’s Health is another source for key West Virginia health quality findings.
In addition, 2010’s federal health reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), included the creation of a prevention fund to provide more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, proven prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation, and the site has a report on how it impacts West Virginia here.
Get local health results
State snapshot too large? Get county-by-county health rankings for West Virginia, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.
Does West Virginia have
a health insurance high risk pool?
West Virginia Health Insurance Plan
IMPORTANT UPDATE: In 2010, West Virginia started offering health care insurance coverage to residents through the federally established temporary high-risk pool program. Learn about eligibility here.
Rapidly becoming obsolete as state health insurance exchanges prepare to open, risk pools were state-sponsored programs that helped people who could afford to buy health insurance, but were not able to get underwritten in the private market because of a pre-existing health condition.
Programs varied significantly from state to state in price, benefits and number of people served. Often insurance companies doing business in the state were required to contribute to the pool to keep it in the black.
In the best cases, they allowed people to be able to switch jobs or become self-employed without the fear of losing their health insurance coverage. Read more about risk pools here.