Understanding Continuing Care Retirement Community Contracts
The key feature of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that distinguishes it from other retirement living communities is the type of contract available for your “continuum of care.” The continuum of care typically includes independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care.
CCRCs provide multiple types of living assistance as your health care needs increase. Moving to a CCRC assures that, as you or your spouse need more care or different types of care, you can stay in one community and have your health care needs met without another move. The five types of contracts available at CCRCs differ in the way in which the health care costs are covered.
You will want to explore the possibilities and ask detailed questions about each type of contract as they vary from one community to another. The cost of providing health care to an individual can be assumed by the community or by the resident. With an Extensive Contract (or Life Care), the fees for entry are much higher but the monthly service costs remain the same as you move within the community to higher levels of care. In other words, your health care costs are paid as part of the entry fee and before you may need them, much like an insurance policy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a Rental Contract offers health care on an as needed basis. There is typically no entry fee associated with a Rental community and health care costs are paid at a full market rate.
The community in an Extensive Contract assumes most of the costs of the health care services. They can offer nursing care at a below market rate because of the higher entry fees. In a Rental Contract, the rate charged for health care is much higher and paid by the individual when it is needed. CCRCs typically have all levels of care within the community so a move into the community means that you can age in place. Rental properties do not always have skilled care so it is best to ask about all levels when you begin your search for your new home.
Type A: Extensive (or Life Care) – Extensive contracts provide housing, residential services and health-related services in exchange for a price, usually consisting of an entrance fee and a monthly fee. No additional fees are generally required as one moves from one level of care to another except for additional meals after a move from independent living. The trade-off in paying higher fees for independent living is that almost all residential services, amenities and health-related services, such as assisted living or skilled nursing care, are provided with little or no increase in monthly fees, other than inflationary adjustments. This contract pre-pays for some portion of health-related services that may be needed in the future. This ensures more predictable long-term expenses regardless of health care needs in the future.
Type B: Modified – Modified contracts provide housing, residential services and a specified amount of health-related services in exchange for an entrance fee and a monthly fee. It may include almost all of the same residential services and amenities that a Type-A contract offers. However, if assisted living or skilled nursing care is required, the resident will be responsible for some of the cost. Health-related services are provided at a subsidized rate or are free for a specified number of days.
Type C: Fee-for-Service – Fee-for-Service contracts provide housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for an entrance fee and a monthly fee. Contracts typically require the lowest monthly fees and possibly the lowest entry fees compared to the other types described above. Some or all of the same residential services and amenities may be provided, but if assisted living or skilled nursing care is required, the resident’s monthly fee will be provided at the going, full per-diem rate.
Type D: Equity – Equity contracts involve an actual real estate purchase, with a transfer of ownership of the unit. A monthly service fee will still be required. Health care is generally available at the on a fee-for-service basis at the full market rate or at a slight discount.
Type E: Rental – Rental contracts provide housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for a monthly rental payment and a monthly fee. There may be a nominal community fee at your entry. Contracts are often month-to-month and service fees may be higher than what you would pay in a comparable entry fee community. Residents under this contract may have priority access to the health care facility but not necessarily guaranteed access. In other words, access to a continuum of care may not be contractually guaranteed as it often is with entry fee providers. As with a Type C contract, the resident will pay the full market rate for health care.
Springmoor – A Modified Contract
As a CARF/CCAC (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and Continuing Care Accreditation Commission) nationally accredited Life Care Retirement Community, Springmoor is designed to provide active, independent retirement living while providing for existing and future health and personal needs.
The amenities and services, including the scheduled activities, entertainment and extensive Pathways Wellness program, are among the best and most progressive offered by any Continuing Care Retirement Community. Springmoor also offers their own Springmoor Home Care and Supportive Living as a bridge between independent living and more continuous care. All of this and more allows for an active, yet secure retirement lifestyle.
Springmoor’s onsite Stewart Health Center provides short term and continuing inpatient care including memory care, as well as a comprehensive outpatient clinic. Residents may also receive physical and occupational therapy on site as well as dental, optical, hearing, psychiatric and podiatry care. The standard for care assures that the residents receive nursing care and personal care that is among the best available.
Exploring the Possibilities
Would you like to know more? The Springmoor team can help answer all your questions about contracts, amenities and health care options. We invite you to schedule a tour soon to see what we have to offer.