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New Office Within the Treasury Looks to Address Tribal Insurance Issues Through Consultation

January 9, 2014

In its recent and inaugural Insurance Modernization Report, the Treasury's Federal Insurance Office (FIO) announced that it will be consulting with tribal leaders in an effort to 'improve the accessibility and affordability of insurance' in Indian Country. The FIO is an office within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which was established under the Dodd-Frank Act to promote national coordination in the insurance sector.

In the report, the FIO concludes that while 'the power to develop insurance law and regulation...remains with Tribal governments', 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.

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