By: Hemanth Ramesh November, 25, 2019
Climate change and the ever-increasing pollution levels have been having a significant impact on people’s health. Gavop compares the average health insurance rates of the 10 most polluted states in the U.S.
The number of people in the U.S. who have died due to pollution-related causes is much higher than automobile fatalities, according to data analyzed from a report published by the National Acadamy of science. About 107,000 people die from air pollution each year, while 36,560 people died from car crashes in 2018 according to the NHTSA.
According to data from Airnow, 39% of the U.S. population lives in areas with unhealthy air. Louisiana was found to be the state in the U.S. with the worst quality of air. Moreover, the average health insurance premium was found to be $5,926 in Louisiana, which was about $1000 above the national average. Citizens in Tennessee paid the highest average health insurance rate at $6,318, which was $1,378 higher than the national average.
Oregon was found to have a lower than average health insurance premium at $4,045. This could also be due to the life expectancy of the citizens of the state, at 79.6 years. The other states of Ohio, Utah, and Indiana, which had a lower than average health insurance premium, also have high life expectancies at 77.9, 78, and 77.7 years, respectively.
While there are several other factors contributing to higher health insurance premiums, pollution is certainly a growing factor. Merely living in certain cities would mean that you would have to pay a higher health insurance premium. For example, Los Angeles was found to be the city with the worst Ozone pollution, while Fresno was found to be the city with the highest amount of year-round particle pollution. Bakersfield was found to be the city with the highest amount of short-term particle pollution.
Considering the fact that the average American spent around $18,764 in the year 2017 and around 3.4 trillion a year in total on healthcare, a health insurance premium practically becomes a necessity. Needless to say, the increasing pollution levels and the threat of climate change are having an impact on the insurance sector as well.
All citizens staying in an area where particle pollution levels are high are all at risk. However, according to lung.org there are certain risk groups who are at greater risk. Including:-
The table below shows the 10 most polluted counties and least polluted counties in the country and the percentage of people suffering from diseases that would categorize them into risk groups according to data from the US environmental protection agency.
Hemanth Ramesh works as a writer for Gavop. He has previously written content for film promotions, start-ups, advertising agencies and event management firms. Hemanth Ramesh completed his MA in Journalism and Mass Communication from The English and Foreign Languages University. His other passion includes script writing.