U.S. states imposed 2,262 specific benefits requirements on health insurance plans in 2011, up 4.9% from the total recorded in 2010.

Victoria Bunce, research director at the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI), Alexandria, Va., and other CAHI staff members have reported that finding in their latest annual health insurance benefits mandate review.

The CAHI analysts note that the number of mandates is up from 850 in 1992, when the group started counting mandates.

Mandates may account for about 10% to 50% of the cost of of a typical health insurance package, the analysts estimate.

Rhode Island and Virginia both top the CAHI chart with 70 mandates imposed. The state with the smallest number of mandates, Idaho, imposes 13 mandates.

HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE FOLKS WHO CONTROL EVERYTHING

Hedge funds paid just 2% to 8% more for group health coverage in 2011 than they paid in 2010, according to SKG Group Inc., White Plains, N.Y.

The hedge fund advisory firm reports that the rate of increase in health insurance rates for hedge fund managers and fund employees has slowed from 6% to 18% in 2010.

SKG has based those figures on an analysis of the rates offered to its hedge fund clients when the clients renewed their coverage.

Hedge funds tend to be attractive health insurance customers, because most of their employees are fit, active people between the ages of 23 and 50. 

STONEGATE TO POLL NAHU MEMBERS

Stonegate Advisors L.L.C., Chicago, has made a polling deal with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Washington.

NAHU will invite about 100,000 health insurance agents, brokers, consultants and benefits professionals to participate in the Stonegate SightLinx survey program.

Benefits advisors can join the program for free. Program members can earn cash payments or other incentives, such as access to white papers, in exchange for filling out written questionnaires, responding to telephone interviews, and gathering for in-person focus group discussions.

Stonegate and its clients will use the answers in health and wellness studies, Stonegate says.

Topics could include health care costs, federal health insurance legislation, and benefits integration efforts. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article described NAHU’s location incorrectly. NAHU has moved to Washington.