Continuing Care Retirement Communities and CCRC Contracts Explained
What are Continuing Care Retirement Communities?
A continuing care retirement community is basically a senior to elderly age based facility that provides multiple tiers of access to different types of senior housing options. The “in-house” senior housing options offered at continuing care communities are typically independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care services. As CCRC’s can provide ongoing tiered services as a resident grows older or as their health starts to decline, this reason alone is a major convenience for some people and one of the main reasons CCRC’s have grown in popularity over the years.
How Do Continuing Care Retirement Communities Work?
As highlighted above, CCRC’s provide multiple levels of care for senior and elderly residents as they progressively get older, all within the same senior housing community. As each CCRC is designed and operated differently than the next, most CCRC’s tend to keep the different tiers of senior housing and care separated to their own sections of the continuing care retirement community. Once again, the main types of elderly housing offered at most CCRC’s are senior independent living, senior assisted living, and nursing home care- all in one community.
CCRC Services and Amenities?
As with other types of senior housing communities, there are different types of services and amenities that are offered to residents. Sometimes these services and amenities are included in the standard pricing of the elderly community, while other times, they are not. Furthermore, as each CCRC is unique to the next, some may offer additional services and amenities that other CCRC’s do not offer. Some of these additional services and amenities could include- larger and lavish housing units, specialty meal plans, transportation, special events, traveling, personal care assistant or concierge style services, extra medical services, and more. Make sure to review the fine print of the CCRC contract to double check that all agreed upon aspects of the brokered deal are laid out properly in the contract verbiage before signing it.
Types of CCRC Contracts-
- Type A /extensive/ life-care contracts- the Type A contract is the most inclusive and most expensive of the 3 main types of CCRC contracts. Type A contracts typically include everything from housing, amenities, additional services, un-metered medical services, and more. Residents who select the Type A plan can expect higher upfront costs compared to the Type B and Type C CCRC contracts.
- Type B CCRC Contracts- the type B contract is a little less inclusive when compared to the Type A CCRC contract, yet typically offers lower upfront costs and lower monthly fees. In most cases, Type B CCRC contracts may limit the amount of access to medical services before the resident starts to get charged additional monthly fees. As an example- if a resident gets sick and needs to stay in the nursing home section of the CCRC past 30 days within an allotted 3 month period, then the resident may be charged for the additional days after the initial 30 days are used up. If by chance the resident needs to be moved into the skilled nursing section of the CCRC for a longer period of time or permanently, then the CCRC and resident will work out a deal on a new monthly rate, typically far cheaper when compared to other similar nursing facilities in almost any given area.
- Type C CCRC Contracts- the Type C contract provides basic housing, services, and amenities as most Type A and Type B contracts do, yet charge for health and medical services on a per diem, market rate based system. Type C CCRC contracts typically offer the lowest upfront and monthly costs when compared to Type A and Type B contracts, but can get expensive if a resident has a medical emergency or develops serious or chronic health issues.
How to Choose the Best CCRC-
When it comes to choosing the best continuing care retirement community, there are a vast amount of details and criteria to take into consideration. As each CCRC offers their own unique services, options, and amenities- this can oftentimes make the final decision on which continuing care retirement community even more daunting. Listed below are some of the main criteria to be considered when making the final decision on which CCRC is the best option for you-
- Contract type and details
- Is the CCRC accredited?
- Housing conditions and general atmosphere of the CCRC
- Reputation, management, and financial security of the community
- Medical services, equipment, and staff
- Food, beverage, and meal plans
- Additional amenities and services offered
- Pricing and Perks
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