Mandated Health Insurance Benefits and State Laws

Updated & material added December 2015

For more than two decades, state legislators have regularly debated and enacted "mandates" or required health coverage for specific treatments, benefits, providers and categories of dependents. States continue to debate whether such mandates actually ensure adequate protection for their constituents or further increase their health care costs.  Listed below are some useful resources and links that provide background, information and examples of state legislation regarding mandated coverage.

Federal Health Reform Law - the 2010 Affordable Care Act has had significant effects on existing state mandate laws.  Some mandate-style services are assured of coverage in all 50 states under federal law. Other state-specified mandates may not be covered within the federal Essential Health Benefits and the Health Benefit Exchanges that will coordinate health insurance offerings beginning in 2014.

NCSL Tables and Other Documents

Please see topic specific pages (click to view):

NCSL Publications & Related Internet Sites


Archive: State Mandate Studies and Evaluations

Other Websites and Useful Links

California Health Policy Roundtable: Mandated Health Insurance Benefits: Tradeoffs Among Benefits, Coverage and Costs. (.pdf)

Council for Affordable Health Insurance: State Legislators' Guide to Health Insurance Solutions. (.pdf)

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Heritage Foundation- How Health Insurance Mandates Misdiagnose the Disease

National Center for Policy Analysis- Mandate-Lite Policies (July 9, 2007)

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill- State Mental Health Parity Background Piece   and State by State Chart

State Coverage Initiatives (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)- Report on Limited-Benefit Plans (mandate-lite).

*NOTE: NCSL provides links to other Web sites from time to time for information purposes only. Providing these links does not necessarily indicate NCSL's support or endorsement of the site.

This page compiled by Karmen Hanson; 2010-2017 updates by Richard Cauchi - NCSL Health Program, Denver.