The quality of a state’s health-care system doesn’t tell the whole story. Sometimes what matters is what is available close to your home.

Confirm there’s at least one well-regarded hospital. Use the hospital ratings from US News & World Report ( and Medicare’s Care Compare online tool (

Confirm there are well-regarded doctors in specialties that you require. Several websites compile patient ratings of doctors, including, and Consider it promising if there are multiple well-reviewed local doctors in the specialty.

Confirm there are high-quality nursing homeseven if you don’t need one now. Medicare’s Care Compare tool provides nursing home ratings.

Confirm your insurance or Medicare will work there. Original Medicare is nationwide, but if you have a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, you might have to change plans when you ­relocate. Contact Medicare (800-633-4227) and/or the provider of your Medicare Advantage or Medigap. If you’re covered through a former employer’s plan, ask the benefits department whether the plan would provide coverage.

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