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May 28, 2009
CAHI Releases Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2009

Alexandria, VA --Today, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) released "Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2009," CAHI's annual tracking of health insurance mandates.

"At a time when both Congress and state legislatures are considering health care reform, it's very important to recognize that government usually makes health insurance more expensive, not less expensive," said Dr. Merrill Matthews, CAHI's executive director.

CAHI has regularly tracked all state mandates since 1992, and its actuarial team estimates the impact those mandates have on the cost of a health insurance policy. For the year ending in 2008, CAHI has identified 2,133 state and federal mandates, an increase of 172 over last year's figure of 1,961 state mandates. This year CAHI is also including federal mandates because they affect state coverage.

"Mandates come with a cost," continued Matthews. "While mandate advocates like to claim that mandates lower the cost of coverage, that's not the actuarial experience. They raise costs because utilization goes up. Those costs are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher health insurance premiums -- increases that make coverage unaffordable for millions of Americans."

Matthews concluded: "While most mandates if taken individually have a relatively small impact on health insurance costs, it is the accumulated impact of dozens of mandates in any given state that drives up the premiums. If our elected representatives want to know why health insurance costs so much, they need to begin by looking at their own actions."

"Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2009" is authored by CAHI Research and Policy Director Victoria C. Bunce and State Affairs Director J.P. Wieske. It is part of CAHI's ongoing effort to track legislatures' involvement in health insurance.

About the Council for Affordable Health Insurance

Founded in 1992, CAHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and advocacy association whose mission is to promote access, affordability and choice in American health care. CAHI's membership includes health insurance companies (active in the individual, small group, HSA and senior markets), small businesses, physicians, actuaries and insurance producers and brokers.

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