While the report noted one-third of West Virginia's low-income population was uninsured, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced in May the state would extend Medicaid coverage to an estimated 91,500 uninsured low-income residents under the federal health-care overhaul starting in January.
The report placed West Virginia among the top five states for having lower rates of uninsured children and those without a personal doctor or nurse.
The report noted poor marks for the state in adult obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and those reporting poor to fair health or mental health issues. About 32 percent of West Virginia adults, one-fourth of state second graders and about 28 percent of fifth graders are obese.
Last year, a statewide coalition unveiled a program pushing residents to live more active lifestyles. The plan seeks to build partnerships between schools, communities and park systems.
And the public-private Reconnecting McDowell partnership launched in 2012 is working to improve life in McDowell County, which is plagued with poor academic performmance, drug abuse and poverty.
The report defines "low income" as under 200 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $23,000 annual income for an individual or about $47,000 for a family of four.
U.S. Census Bureau figures show about 18 percent of West Virginia residents are living in poverty, including one-fourth of children.
State Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen L. Bowling said the state also is working with six others to improve services for those who frequently use the emergency room or other high-cost forms of health care instead of coordinated, lower-cost programs.
West Virginia also is working to reduce preterm births and infant mortality, and to provide dental services to those who can't afford it, she said.
"We have made progress, but have much work ahead of us," Bowling said.