State insurance commissioners expect to talk about federal regulation of insurance, international regulatory issues, the effects of Katrina and the new Medicare prescription drug program this weekend at their annual Commissioners’ Conference.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., has scheduled the 4-day event to start Feb. 5 in Naples, Fla.
NAIC President Al Iuppa, the Maine insurance superintendent, says Emil Henry, the assistant secretary for financial institutions at the U.S. Treasury Department, will attend the conference to talk about efforts to create an “optional federal charter.”
Proponents say the proposal would give insurers the same kind of choice that banks now have – to be supervised by state regulators or a federal agency.
State regulators say the OFC proposal is not necessary and is not a good idea.
Even though proponents are calling the proposed federal charter optional, “we don’t think of it as an optional federal charter,” Iuppa says. “We think of it as a federal charter.”
Iuppa points to the NAIC’s effort to set up an Interstate Compact as evidence of the effectiveness of state insurance regulation.
The NAIC already has recruited 20 of the 26 states needed to put the compact into effect, and it is very likely that the other 6 states needed will sign on this year, Iuppa says.