The greatest health strengths and challenges in Alaska

The recently released “America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report” uncovered several health strengths and challenges in Alaska.


Alaska is ranked 34th in the country for overall health – a decline from its ranking of 27 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

Alaska health struggles

  • Low percentage of low birthweight infants
  • Low prevalence of multiple chronic conditions
  • High supply of mental health providers
  • 23% increase in flu vaccination coverage from 33.8% to 41.5% of adults between 2018 and 2021

Alaska health challenges

  • High prevalence of excessive drinking
  • High racial disparity in low birthweight
  • High occupational fatality rate
  • 37% increase in frequent mental distress from 10.2% to 14% of adults between 2016 and 2021
  • 43% decrease in uninsured from 20.1% to 11.4% of the population between 2011 and 2021

What this means for employers

Employers who do business or have employees living in the state of Alaska 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 Alaska’s increase in frequent mental distress among adults, the size of a carrier’s network and their virtual visit offerings may need to be a bigger priority.

Learn more about the factors impacting the health of Alaska.

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.

— Patricia L. Lewis, Chief Sustainability Officer at UnitedHealth Group

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