State insurance regulators should let insurance holding companies file confidential data with states with strong confidentiality safeguards, insurer groups say.

The groups have been commenting on the proposed Model Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act and Regulation. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo., developed the models in an effort to make oversight of insurer groups better and more efficient.

The NAIC Executive Committee and the plenary — the body that represents all voting NAIC members — hope to vote on the models during a conference call meeting Dec. 16.

J. Bruce Ferguson, a senior vice president at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), Washington, and Robert Neill, a senior counsel at the ACLI, focus on confidentiality concerns in an ACLI comment letter.

Randi Reichel mentions confidentiality concerns in a comment submitted on behalf of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Washington.

The ACLI and AHIP have joined to submit a third letter focusing on confidentiality with a group of associations that also includes the American Insurance Association, Washington; the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis; the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill.; and the Reinsurance Association of America, Washington.

Ferguson and Neill note in their letter that the NAIC is a nonprofit association, not a government agency.

Because of the NAIC’s legal status as a nonprofit association, “any potential sharing of information with or through the NAIC is of critical concern,” Ferguson and Neill say.

Uniform confidentiality protections should apply

when various regulators share sensitive information, Ferguson and Neill add.

Ferguson and Neill ask the NAIC to look at the confidentiality protections and wrongful disclosure penalties that the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, Basel, Switzerland, has been developing.

In the insurer group letter, the ACLI, AHIP and the other associations recommend a state-based strategy for addressing confidentiality concerns.

“States without adequate confidentiality protection would allow holding companies to file with the most appropriate lead state that has adequate confidentiality protection,” the insurer groups say.

The NAIC also could put enhanced confidentiality provisions in contracts between the NAIC and the states, and the NAIC could state that information from sensitive filings would only be made to governmental entities that can protect the confidentiality of the information and agree to do so, the groups say.