October 20, 2010|
CAHI Releases Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2010
(Alexandria, VA) – Today the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) released the 2010 edition of "Health Insurance Mandates in the States." According to the study, the number of state mandated benefits continues to grow -- to 2,156 nationwide, up from 2,133 last year.
"Policymakers are increasingly focused on how to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and lower the cost of health insurance," stated CAHI Executive Director J.P. Wieske. "While some state and federal legislators continue to pass new mandated benefit laws, others recognize that mandates drive up the cost of health insurance and make health insurance policies unaffordable for millions of Americans. As implementation of the new federal health insurance law further drives up the cost of health insurance, the cost of adding new mandated benefits will become a more important issue.”
A health insurance mandate is a requirement that an insurance company cover specific health care providers, benefits or patient populations. While mandates make health insurance more comprehensive, they also make it more expensive because mandates require insurers to pay for care consumers previously funded out of their own pockets. Based on our analysis, mandated benefits currently increase the cost of basic health coverage from a little less than 10% to more than 50%, depending on the state, the specific legislative language, and type of policy.
At a time when policymakers are complaining about the high cost of health insurance, CAHI wants state legislators to know they are responsible for the mandate explosion, and what those mandates do to the cost and availability of health insurance. We hope this publication will encourage them to refrain from exacerbating the problem of health insurance costs and the uninsured
The study's authors, CAHI Research and Policy Director Victoria C. Bunce and Executive Director J.P. Wieske, track hundreds of mandate bills and identify those that actually pass. The study also includes an estimate, provided by a team of health actuaries, of how much each mandate adds to the cost of a health insurance policy.
A copy of the study is available on our website at http://www.cahi.org/cahi_contents/resources/pdf/MandatesintheStates2010.pdf, or by calling 703-836-6200, x387.
Since 1992, CAHI has been the principled, free-market voice protecting and promoting access, affordability and choice in American health care. CAHI's membership includes health insurers, small businesses, physicians, actuaries, insurance producers and brokers and consumers. It's your health; it's your choice.