The greatest health strengths and challenges in Alabama
“America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report” uncovered health strengths and challenges in Alabama and how it affects employers and those that insure them.
Alabama is ranked 46th in the country for overall health – an improvement from a ranking of 47 in 20191 – according to America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report. Below is a summary of the positive and negative factors that contributed to this ranking.2
Alabama health strengths
- Low prevalence of excessive drinking
- Low racial disparity in premature death rates
- High rate of high school graduation
- 11% increase in high-speed internet of households from 79.3% to 88.1% between 2016 and 2021
Alabama health challenges
- High premature death rate
- High prevalence of multiple chronic conditions
- Low supply of mental health providers
- 86% increase in e-cigarette use from 4.9% to 9.1% of adults between 2017 and 2021
- 34% increase in drug deaths between 2019 and 2020
What this means for employers
Employers who do business or have employees living in the state of Alabama may want to consider programs or benefits that can help support their employee population and guide them to better health decisions. Additionally, given the increased importance being placed on mental health, paired with Alabama’s low supply of mental health providers, the size of a carrier’s network and their virtual visit offerings may need to be a bigger priority.
The real people behind these numbers are what make the work ahead so critically important. Despite the challenges ahead, I remain optimistic that the health system can rise to the moment to address long-standing disparities and improve the health and well-being of all Americans, for this generation and the next.