Triggered by the NPS collapse, preneed reform rolled out of the Missouri legislature like a tsunami. When the funeral industry was slow to organize and respond to the situation, legislators worked with state officials to imposed sweeping changes. While SB1 does reflect input provided to the State Board by the industry, the law has flaws and omissions that need to be addressed. It will take time to determine how best to revise SB1, but for the current legislative session, I have a short Christmas wish list:
- A continuing education requirement – as a profession, funeral directors have an obligation to stay abreast of new issues and changes. Aside from preneed reform, the industry is in transition in many aspects. Few professionals like forced educational requirements, but the time has come for the Missouri funeral industry.
- Section 208.010.4 – no one can fault the local MO Healthnet worker who interprets this section to require an assistance applicant to purchase a Chapter 436 preneed contract. This law needs to be revised to clarify that other acceptable forms of final expense funds may be excluded for asset testing.