U.S. states increased the number of specific health insurance coverage requirements 3.2% this year to 1,961.

The rate of increase is up from 3.1% in 2007.

The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Alexandria, Va., published the mandate totals in its latest annual review of state health insurance mandates.

CAHI defines mandates as requirements that health insurers cover specific types of health care providers, benefits or patient populations.

The 2008 edition of its the CAHI health insurance mandates report includes estimates of each mandate’s cost as well as a description of the mandate.

A comparison with the 2007 report shows that some of the new mandates are associated with advances in technology or trends in preventive health care.

Oregon, for example, added a requirement that insurers cover bilateral cochlear implants.

The number of states requiring coverage for colorectal cancer screening increased to 28, from 23, according to CAHI.

This year, several states enacted mandates in an effort to improve access to health coverage.

The number of states creating or expanding dependent coverage requirements increased to 30, from 23, and the number of states with domestic partner coverage mandates increased to 13, from 8.