NU Online News Service, Jan. 12, 2005, 4:17 p.m. EST

An Alexandria, Va., group has developed a chart that summarizes the requirements that U.S. states impose on health insurers.[@@]

Researchers at the group, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, have created one state-by-state section that shows whether a state imposes minimum requirements for coverage of procedures such as blood lead poisoning screenings or for products such as contraceptives.

A second section shows whether states require health insurers to pay for the services of specific types of health care providers, such as opticians or pastoral counselors, or requires states to offer coverage for certain types of persons, such as adopted children or handicapped dependents.

A third, smaller section summarizes the status of miscellaneous mandates, such as an ovarian cancer screening benefit requirement in Georgia and coverage mandates for anti-psychotic drugs in Iowa and Minnesota.

The chart includes rough estimates of the effect of each mandate on the cost of coverage.

The chart is on the Web at http://www.cahi.org/cahi_contents/resources/pdf/MandatePubDec2004.pdf