Amend the Funeral Rule
In October 2022, the FTC asked the public for comments on proposals to update the Funeral Rule. This comment period came on the heels of a huge public response to a 2020 request by the Commission for feedback about the existing Funeral Rule text. Here is the letter that was sent to the FTC from the PMA Board of Directors back in 2020 and here's what the Board submitted in early 2023.
The Funeral Rule was written in 1984 and remains the only piece of federal legislation that regulates the funeral industry. We have been working alongside other organizations in the funeral industry to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to amend the Funeral Rule. One of the most important changes that needs to be made is requiring funeral homes to post their General Price Lists on their websites.
The last thing anyone needs when experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one is to go door-to-door requesting prices to shop around for an affordable funeral home. In the digital age, we no longer shop this way... and in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we simply can’t shop like that. Many people continue to take great care in reducing their potential exposure to the virus, like those who may be caring for a loved one on hospice.
Here's a summary of points that have been brought to the FTC in support of amending the Funeral Rule:
- Funeral homes should be required to post their complete price lists on their websites. Consumers should be able to compare prices for cremation and burial services by visiting the websites of their local funeral homes. Local affiliates like PMA dedicate months to collecting the information from General Price Lists for cost-comparison surveys in their state. Price lists could easily be gathered in hours instead. These surveys are widely used by consumers to make informed decisions.
- The price of cremation should be clearly stated on a General Price List and not contain hidden fees.
- Cemeteries should be included in the Funeral Rule and be required to have General Price Lists. Currently, cemeteries are not regulated by the Funeral Rule and are not required to have prices in writing making it unnecessarily difficult for consumers.