A couple of weeks ago, we posted about the top 10 most expensive marketplaces in the country. The ranking was based on the lowest-price “silver” plan, which is considered the midlevel plan most consumers are choosing. This week, NPR has released a list of the top 10 least expensive marketplaces, ranked based on the lowest cost of the “silver” plan. The lowest cost regions tend to have more competition between hospitals and doctors, allowing insurers to set lower prices. In addition, many doctors in these regions work on salary rather than being paid by procedure, thus lessening the financial incentive to perform more procedures. Furthermore, in these regions, health systems focus more on care coordination.
The top 10 least expensive regions are:
- $154: Minneapolis-St. Paul. Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne and Washington counties.
- $164: Pittsburgh and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
- $166: Middle Minnesota. Benton, Stearns and Wright counties.
- $167: Tucson, Ariz. Pima County.
- $171: Northwestern Minnesota. Clearwater, Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk and Red Lake counties.
- $173: Salt Lake City. Davis and Salt Lake counties.
- $176: Hawaii.
- $180: Knoxville, Tenn. Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier & Union.
- $180: Western and North Central Minnesota. Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Cass, Chippewa, Clay, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Pope, Renville, Roseau, Sibley, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena Wilkin and Yellow Medicine counties. In Chisago County, the lowest premium is $162.
- $181: Chattanooga, Tenn. Bledsoe, Bradley, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie counties.
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