ACTS Retirement-Life Communities Reveals the Key Differences in Continuing Care Retirement Community Costs

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ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, the nation’s largest not-for-profit owner, operator and developer of continuing care retirement communities, explains the key differences in the most common types of CCRC contracts offered at continuing care communities.

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ACTS Retirement-Life Communities recommends that seniors and caregivers carefully investigate what fees are included within the CCRC contract, and when and under what conditions fees are subject to increase.

Continuing care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs, are an increasingly popular retirement option for seniors. These age-restricted communities are often located on large campus-like settings that offer a variety of living accommodations, numerous amenities, social events, and recreational opportunities for residents.

Another feature that makes CCRCs appealing to a growing number of seniors is that any future health care needs will be met within the community, including assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and long-term skilled nursing care. The security and convenience of multiple levels of living in one location enables seniors to continuing residing within the CCRC campus despite increasing health care needs.

Seniors who live in a CCRC typically pay a one-time entrance fee that may or may not be refundable, and a monthly fee that covers rental of an apartment or freestanding home, maintenance, utilities, meals, activities and amenities. The fees for healthcare services provided in a CCRC vary based upon the contract type.

ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, the nation’s largest not-for-profit owner, operator and developer of continuing care retirement communities, explains the key differences in the most common types of CCRC contracts offered at continuing care communities.

A Life Care Contract (called Type A) is an all-inclusive agreement that includes housing, residential services, amenities and health care services offered with either no increase or substantial change from the monthly fee paid for the independent living accommodation if a higher level of health care is needed, such as assisted living and skilled nursing care. The Type A contract is similar to a pre-paid long-term care insurance plan, and the preferred option for those who want predictable monthly payments.

A Modified Contract (Type B) also includes housing, residential services, and amenities, but residents only receive a discounted rate for health care for a limited period, after which the cost of assisted living and skilled care is on a per-diem basis.

A Fee-for-Service Contract (Type C) includes housing, residential services, and amenities, but additional health care services are not included. This contract offers residents the option to pay for services as needed, and residents must pay the full cost of health care services they receive at a price determined by the provider.

Some CCRCs offer a rental contract that enables residents to rent their housing on a monthly or annual basis. These communities may offer but not guarantee access to healthcare, which residents pay at the prevailing market rate.

ACTS Retirement-Life Communities recommends that seniors and caregivers carefully investigate what fees are included within the CCRC contract, and when and under what conditions fees are subject to increase. As people live longer, the chances of needing extra care also increase, and while all CCRCs provide higher levels of care, the amount the resident is responsible to pay will vary based on the contract offered by the community.

For more information about CCRCs visit ACTS Retirement-Life Communities which offers A Consumer’s Guide to Retirement Living, a free resource that includes checklists and worksheets to help research and compare CCRCs and other types of retirement communities.

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Michael Smith
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