#1. Iowa City
Residents of Iowa City, IA spend 17 percent less on health care than the rest of the nation. But it’s residents’ easy access to hospitals, doctors and dentists that earned Iowa City the top ranking on our list of Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care. Health-care costs are kept low here, thanks to competition between 14 area hospitals. The city has a doctor for every 634 residents. If that doesn’t give Iowa City residents something to smile about, the ratio of one dentist for every 532 people sure should.
Often ranked as one of the best places to live in the country, Iowa City’s strong economy, diverse population, natural beauty and cultural amenities attract new residents. Trails such as the 6-mile Iowa River Corridor Trail link neighborhoods to city parks, the University of Iowa and the downtown area. The trails, parks and a collection of recreational facilities receive frequent use in this city, which Men’s Journal named the “Healthiest Town” in the U.S. in 2010. State officials recently recognized Iowa City as a “blue zone community,” signifying the city’s efforts to promote healthy living, eating and longevity. Many local businesses offer their employees discounts to fitness facilities. Residents flock to the Iowa River, an excellent waterway for canoeing and kayaking. The Riverside Festival Stage, designed to resemble the Globe Theater, hosts a variety of performances. Downtown Iowa City features restaurants, shops, art galleries and performance venues that draw many visitors.
Two Top Hospitals
Hospital evaluation services rank Mercy Iowa City and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as the community’s top medical systems. Mercy, accredited by The Joint Commission, features a certified primary stroke center, cancer care, and a heart care system recognized by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics includes the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
• 14 hospitals
• High ratio of primary care physicians to residents (1 for every 634 residents)
• High ratio of dentists to residents (1 for every 532 residents)
• Cost of Heart Valve Surgery – $47,696*
• Office Visit, New Patient (minor problem) – $76*
*According to the Healthcare Bluebook