Deferred Payment Agreement Legislation: What You Need to Know
Deferred payment agreements (DPAs) are becoming an increasingly popular way for seniors to pay for long-term care services, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care. But with the growing popularity of DPAs comes the need for legislation to regulate them.
In this article, we’ll discuss what DPAs are, how they work, and why legislation is necessary. We’ll also take a look at some of the current laws and regulations related to DPAs and what changes may be on the horizon.
What are Deferred Payment Agreements?
A DPA is a contractual arrangement between a senior and a long-term care provider, in which the senior agrees to pay for services in the future, usually after they have passed away. DPAs are often used when the senior does not have the immediate funds to pay for care and does not want to sell their home or other assets.
Under a DPA, the care provider agrees to provide services and defer payment until the senior’s death, at which point the provider is reimbursed from the senior’s estate. The payment amount is usually based on the value of the home or other assets, with interest and fees added.
Why is Legislation Necessary?
As DPAs become more common, there is growing concern over their transparency and consumer protections. With no standardization or regulation in place, there is a risk that seniors may be taken advantage of or sign agreements that are unfair or misleading.
Legislation is necessary to protect seniors from predatory practices and ensure that DPAs are fair and transparent. A well-crafted law will provide guidelines for providers and implement consumer protections that safeguard seniors from being taken advantage of.
Current Laws and Regulations
Currently, there is no federal law regulating DPAs. However, some states have passed their own legislation to regulate DPAs, with California and Oregon being two of the most prominent.
In California, the Deferred Deposit Transaction Law (DDTL) governs DPAs. The law requires that providers be licensed, mandates disclosures related to fees and interest rates, and allows the Department of Business Oversight to investigate complaints.
Similarly, Oregon’s Elderly and Disabled Persons’ Debtors’ Protection Act establishes specific requirements for DPAs, including mandatory disclosures and limits on interest rates and fees.
What’s Next for Deferred Payment Agreement Legislation?
With the growing popularity of DPAs, it is likely that more states will pass legislation regulating them. In addition, there have been calls for federal legislation to provide uniform standards across the country.
One potential federal law is the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act, introduced in 2019, which would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study the use of DPAs in Alzheimer’s disease cases and make recommendations for best practices and consumer protections.
Deferred payment agreements can be a useful tool for seniors seeking long-term care services, but they require standardization and regulation to protect consumers from predatory practices. Current laws and regulations provide some consumer protections, but it is likely that more legislation will be necessary as DPAs become more common.
As a professional, it’s important to keep up-to-date on legislative developments related to DPAs and ensure that articles on the subject are optimized for search engines. By providing valuable information on DPAs and their regulation, you can help seniors and their families make informed decisions about their long-term care options.