Getting paid for your service to families

Date Published: 
June, 2005
Original Author: 
Ernie Heffner, CFuE
Heffner Funeral Homes and Crematory, York, PA
Original Publication: 
ICFM Magazine, June 2005

Adapted from a presentation at the 2005 ICFA Annual Convention

You go to the emergency room, and what do they want to know? Do you have insurance? If you don't have insurance, do you have a credit card?

There's no reason why we shouldn't be paid just like any other institution.

There are 11 methods of payment—make it easy for your customer.

My all-time favorite method of payment is prearrangement; it truly is the best payment method.

In addition to cash, check and debit card, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner's Club and American Express. If you don't offer to accept all these cards, you can look to the ICFA, which has a great credit card program that will cover you for all of them.

In the state of Pennsylvania there is no such thing as an insurance assignment being a legal proposition. It is a courtesy insurance companies extend to customers. However, if they pay to somebody by mistake—the original beneficiary for instance, or if the beneficiary walks out of our door after signing an assignment and then unassigns it without us knowing, by the time the company processes our document, the money's already been paid out.

Therefore, we do everything with Advance Funeral Funding. They charge 5 percent for an insurance assignment, which we add to the bill.

We have the check the next day before they even have the insurance policy. Fill in the form, fax it to them, they will give you a verification in an hour, they overnight the check, you have your money before the service is rendered.