Senate Investigates CCRC Risks

Selecting a Facility : Senate Investigates CCRC Risks

July 27, 2010 - The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging's investigating Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) has found that  seniors who buy into these facilities can face considerable financial risk to .  Part of the risk is that state regulations differ from state to state; some have extensive regulations while others do not have much in the way of followup. Twelve states have no regulations specifically pertaining to CCRCs. An even larger risk, according to the special GAO Report that the Aging Committee commissioned, is that these institutions can encounter financial problems and then either have to dramatically increase their fees; or worse, close their doors and have their residents incurr financial loss (full or partial loss of their entrance fees), forcing them to move to another facility. 

Meanwhile the Senate Special Committee on Aging issued its own Report on CCRC Risks to Seniors, which found that there were about 1,861 CCRCs in the U.S. with about 745,000 residents in 2007. Their report has similar conclusions to that of the GAO's, finding that the industry is under considerable risk at the moment thanks to the state of the economy. The depressed housing market has meant that many seniors cannot sell their homes, usually the source of funds for CCRC entrance fees, which in turn is leading to lower CCRC occupancy rates.  The Senate Report  cautioned consumers to engage the services of a lawyer to understand the complex issues surrounding CCRCs in terms of:: entrance fees and their refundability, transition between levels of care (both inside and outside the facility), involuntary closures, participatory management, and conflict resolution.

For further reference:
10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Into a CCRC