Insider News: Recent studies and surveys

Today's post is from our broker blog, AllWays Insider. We're sharing it because it has some great information on health care in Massachusetts, schools reopening, and how employers can help their employees during this time.

This week in Insider News, we're sharing a study that found Massachusetts to be the best state for health care during COVID-19, a survey of parents on their concerns about opening schools, and some tips to help employers prepare for rising stress levels.

Massachusetts is best state for health care in America, new study says from 7News Boston WHDH

WalletHub's 2020's Best & Worst States for Health Care ranked Massachusetts as the best place to get quality and affordable care during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. WalletHub says it compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across key measures of healthcare cost, accessibility and outcome. Massachusetts rankings in the study's key metrics were:


  • 1st - Avg. Monthly Insurance Premium
  • 2nd - Physicians per Capita
  • 9th - Dentists per Capita
  • 3rd - Hospital Beds per Capita
  • 1st - % of Insured Adults
  • 1st - % of Insured Children
  • 3rd - % of Adults with No Dental Visit in Past Year
  • 29th - % of Medical Residents Retained


The top five states were Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. and North Dakota. Vermont was at sixth on the list, while other New England states Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine ranked just outside the top 10.

By nearly a 2-1 margin, parents prefer to wait to open schools to minimize COVID risk, with parents of color especially worried either way from Kaiser Family Foundation

As state and local officials prepare for the school year, KFF tracking polls indicate parents with children who normally attend school overwhelmingly prefer schools wait to restart in-person classes to reduce infection risk (60%) rather than open sooner so parents can work and students can return to the classroom (34%). It finds parents of color (76%) are even more likely than white parents (51%) to prefer schools wait to return. Among the findings:


  • 87% of Democrats and 59% of independents prefer schools open later while 60% of Republicans prefer schools open sooner. 71% of the public say the public schools in their area need more resources to comply with public health recommendations around reopening, and 66% of parents say the same thing about their own child’s school.
  • Most parents with a child who normally attends school are worried about teachers and staff getting sick from coronavirus (79%) and children being unable or unwilling to comply with physical distancing practices (73%). Nearly as many are worried about their child (70%) or themselves or a family member (69%) getting sick from coronavirus and that their child’s school will be unable to comply with public health recommendations (66%).
  • 53% say stress and worry related to the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health - an increase of 14 percentage points since May. This includes about one in four who say it has had a "major" negative impact.
  • 52% of the public report experiencing at least one of six specific issues due to worry and stress related to the pandemic: sleep difficulties (36%), poor appetite or overeating (32%), difficulty controlling their temper (18%), frequent headaches or stomach aches (18%), increased alcohol or drug use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure (12%).
  • 40% of adults say someone in their household has had problems paying bills or affording medical care or basic expenses in the past three months, including 22% who say this was a direct result of coronavirus and its impact on their financial situation.


How to prepare for rising stress ahead from SmartBrief

While the pandemic is in itself a stressful situation, upcoming events like the flu season and November election will likely make for an even more turbulent ant uncertain time. To prepare for these rising stress levels, it's important for management and leadership to understand the ways people cope with chronic stress. These six steps can also help you be an effective leader during this time:

  1. Take care of yourself.
  2. Get a flu shot.
  3. Don't give in to COVID-19 fatigue. 
  4. Stay connected to people you're responsible for at work.
  5. Reach out to people who are becoming distant.
  6. Communicate an optimistic, but realistic, attitude.


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