This is a first of a series of posts of good things about West Virginia, beyond the obvious beautiful scenery and friendly way of life.  When I announced my retirement and where we were going, my Texas friends and colleagues (and a few WV natives) started sending me emails of bad-news items about West Virginia.  Having lived away for 30 years, I had had it with even well-meaning misconceptions about our ignorance and poverty, not to mention nasty West Virginia bashing (which continues even in high places, where you would think they would know better) of the ethnic joke or slur sort.

85.9% of West Virginians have health insurance, above the national average of 84.7%.  95.4% of children (under 18) are covered (nationally 89.0%), and 99.5% of those over 65 (nationally 98.1%).  About 40% of those of working age without health insurance were in households making over the average household income, and 20% were in households making over $100,000, indicating that they had chosen not to have coverage.

Part of this very good coverage rate is due to Medicaid, SCHIP, and a high disability rate, but that just says that, although West Virginians may be poorer than average, we take care of those who need help.

Not to bash Texas, but guess which state has the highest percentage and next-to highest absolute numbers of uninsured?

Data from the CPS 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (2007 Income) from the U. S. Bureau of the Census