#9. Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids, MI residents spend 31 percent less on health-care costs than the average American. A total of 12 local hospitals, three of which hold national rankings, serve the Grand Rapids area. These hospitals compete for patients, which lowers medical expenses. Residents also benefit from a high number of primary care physicians and dentists. While roughly 13 percent of the city’s population doesn’t have health insurance, the average resident here lives several years longer than half of the nation’s population.
Surrounded by Beauty
With the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan to their west and lush forests to their north, south and east, residents of Grand Rapids have easy access to outdoor adventures. Inside the city limits, nearly 1,600 acres of parkland allow families to play, exercise and relax. Downtown Grand Rapids combines a growing office environment, vibrant nightlife and quaint shops into a densely populated entertainment district. Summer festivals draw large crowds who come to dance to live music, taste local cuisine and view independent movies. Children get hands-on lessons at museums, while mom and dad can sample craft brews at neighborhood pubs.
Nationally Ranked Hospitals
The quality of health-care facilities in Grand Rapids exceeds that of even most communities twice its size. Two hospitals here (Spectrum Health and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital) are ranked nationally in specialties by U.S. News & World Report. Mercy Health Saint Mary’s also holds high-performing rankings in four specialties.
• 12 hospitals
• Third lowest in health-care spending among this list’s cities (31 points below national average)
• High ratio of primary care physicians to residents (1-1,129)
• Cost of Heart Valve Surgery – $47,207*
• Office Visit, New Patient (minor problem) – $80*
*According to the Healthcare Bluebook