April 15, 1957—New Jersey’s Master Trusting statute becomes effective, requiring that 100% of the proceeds from the sale in advance of need of any and all funeral and cemetery goods and services by any person, firm or corporation be trust funds, with investments limited to insured bank deposits, with principal and interest refundable upon demand. [N.J.S.A. 2A:102-13]
September, 1981—The New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ (Funeral Planning CHOICES™) is established by the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, Inc. (NJSFDA).
September 3, 1982—The federal Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982 establishes the SSI/Medicaid prepaid funeral and burial resource exclusion, the result of a Virginia constituent’s Medicaid eligibility denial based on holding a prepaid grave space. [42 U.S.C.S. 1382(b)]
December 28, 1983—Final federal rule promulgated specifying, broadening and clarifying the standard for Medicaid prepaid funeral resource exclusions established under TEFRA of 1982. [20 C.F.R.S. 416.1231]
April 24, 1985—New Jersey Pooled Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund law becomes effective, sanctioning the commingling of prepaid funeral monies under master trust agreements like New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ (Funeral Planning CHOICES™). [N.J.S.A. 3B:11-16]
January 18, 1992—Limited prepaid funeral trust fund irrevocability is provided for in New Jersey in order to simplify the Medicaid prepaid funeral resource exclusion for persons anticipating Medicaid eligibility within six months, while still providing for portability between funeral homes. [N.J.S.A. 2A:102-16.1]
December 21, 1993—The comprehensive New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Act takes effect, broadening the consumer protections of the core 1957 Master Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund statute, and detailing funeral director and funeral home conduct in the marketing, sale and distribution of prepaid funeral trust fund and funeral insurance products. [N.J.S.A. 45:7-82ff. For the complete legislation, see P.L.1993, c. 143]
January 5, 1998—New Jersey State Board of Mortuary Science Rule requires funeral directors to advise the Department of Human Services of refunds in excess of $500 on prepaid funerals that were established using the Medicaid resource exclusion. [N.J.A.C. 13:36-11.6(e)]
February 27, 2000—New Jersey’s mandatory asset recovery law takes effect, requiring the automatic payment of excess proceeds on prepaid funerals that were established using the Medicaid resource exclusion to be forwarded to the Treasurer-State of New Jersey, while codifying in New Jersey law the resource exclusion standards of federal law. [N.J.S.A. 2A:102-20ff ]
November 11, 2003—Excess proceeds from an insurance assignment becomes subject to asset recovery on a going-forward basis. All new assignments require the State of New Jersey to become first named beneficiary following funeral payment.
January, 2007—New Jersey State Medicaid policy advice directs that post-funeral repasts (meals) are not permitted as part of any prepaid funeral arrangement intending to qualify for the Medicaid resource exclusion.
September 2018—The NJ Department of Human Services issues new guidelines for what should be excluded as part of prepaid funeral arrangements for those intending to qualify for Medicaid. Disallowed items now include vehicles to transport flowers; travel for individuals to attend the funeral; transportation of living family members; gratuities; cost of clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc., for the living; and other goods or services for the living.