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Treasury's Federal Insurance Office To Consult Tribes

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The Treasury's Federal Insurance Office is going to consult with tribal leaders to identify alternatives to improve the accessibility and affordability of insurance in Indian country, the department said in its recent and inaugural Insurance Modernization Report.

The Federal Insurance Office was established within the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Dodd-Frank Act to promote national coordination in the insurance sector, including life and health (L/H) and property and casualty (P/C). Its Modernization Report concludes that "the power to develop insurance law and regulation...remains with Tribal governments," and the failure of many tribal governments to establish proper insurance regulatory frameworks has deterred external insurance providers, leaving a considerable number of tribal businesses and individuals uninsured. According to the report, this "genuine need for additional insurance protection" in Indian country warrants "federal action."

The report notes that tribes have encouraged the federal government to facilitate the development of alternative insurance program by allowing enhanced flexibility in federal programs that would provide more affordable coverage options.