Give the State Board credit for attempting to clarify how insurance assignments must be handled for compliance with Missouri laws.
For several months, the State Board has sought clarifications from MO HealthNet regarding spend-downs. On May 12th, the Board emailed to the industry new MO HealthNet guidelines for insurance assignments. One day later, the legislature passed HB 2290.
HB2290 addressed a gaping hole left in Chapter 208 when SB1 was passed. Chapter 208 excluded funeral contracts that complied with Chapter 436 provisions that no longer exist. The drafters of HB2290 took a broad-brush approach to the problem. Having done so, funeral homes and cemeteries are left to ask MO HealthNet and the State Board new questions.
By the bill’s reference to Chapter 436, must a “Burial Plan” or “Preneed contract” comply with the requirements of SB1? This would be a defeat for cemeteries who have the option of selling preneed under Chapter 214.
If an insurance policy was not purchased with the intent to fund a preneed contract, why then, bring the true spend down into Chapter 436 (and further burden the Board’s oversight functions)?
The MO HealthNet guidelines can be found on the State Board’s website.
Missouri funeral homes should note that the guidelines impose a duty on the funeral home to notify the Department of Social Services when excess funds remain from a participant’s preneed contract. If the preneed contract was irrevocable, that should flag to the funeral director that he should make an inquiry.