Insurance regulations in the United States and the effectiveness of the current 50-state regulatory structure have been hotly debated for the last 20 years. Based on certain market events, there also has been a call for and movement toward a central federal regulatory body. As recently as March 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department issued Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory Structure (nicknamed "The Paulson Blueprint" after former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson), which recommended the establishment of a federal insurance regulatory body for the creation of an optional federal charter.
The merits of a federal regulatory body were also debated in the lead-up to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which ultimately authorized the Federal Insurance Office (FIO). The primary responsibilities are to advise the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury on insurance issues, consult with individual states on insurance matters of national and international importance, and monitor all aspects of the insurance industry. The FIO does not, however, have explicit regulatory authority.