CCRC Costs: How Much Will You Pay?
Because CCRC costs are not subject to outside regulation, there can be a lot of variation between continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). A number of factors influence CCRC costs, and understanding these factors can help you determine what you’ll be paying for if you move into a CCRC.
Did you know, for example, that many nonprofit CCRCs provide financial assistance to qualifying individuals to help pay entrance fees and/or monthly fees? Some nonprofit communities will also subsidize residents who run out of money. Providing financial aid helps these communities maintain their tax exempt status as a charitable organization. Ask about these policies if they are not stated in your contract.
CCRC costs can vary greatly depending upon the cost structure. However, most communities, regardless of the type of contract(s) offered, require residents to pay an entrance fee as well as ongoing monthly fees. Monthly fees can be as low as $500 at some communities, escalating up to $3,000 or more depending on your contract type and service plan.
Entrance fees start at as low as $20,000 for a non-purchase (rental) agreement, and buy-in fees weigh in among the most expensive CCRC costs, running up to $500,000 or more depending on the size and location of your unit as well as the community.
Other factors that affect CCRC costs include:
- Whether you will rent or own your unit
- The size and location of your unit
- The services and amenities not covered by your contract
- Whether accommodations are shared or private
- Current health status
- The type of contract you sign
CCRC Contract Types
Contract type is the most significant factor when it comes to CCRC costs. The three basic types of CCRC contracts are associated with varying levels of risk; generally, the lower the risk, the higher your upfront CCRC costs.
- Extensive contracts provide a lifetime guarantee of housing and all the care that you need (low risk, highest upfront costs).
- Modified contracts are similar to extensive contracts, except that your care coverage is limited to a specified number of days, beyond which you would pay for services out of pocket (medium risk, mid-level cost).
- Fee-for-service contracts allow you to pay only for the services that you use (highest risk, lowest upfront costs).
Insurance and CCRCs
Another major factor that affects CCRC costs is health insurance, which can help bring down your share of the costs. Medicare and Medicaid pay for some skilled nursing care and medical costs for eligible residents of certified facilities, for instance.
Before you move in, some communities may stipulate that you agree to apply for Medicaid or SSI in the event that you run through your own resources and need extra help. This is a preventative measure to ensure that the community will still be paid for the services you utilize. You may also be required to enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B and/or have a Medigap policy for supplemental health insurance.
Some CCRCs require applicants to obtain long-term care insurance prior to moving in. If you have an existing policy, check it to see whether it covers some of your CCRC costs. If you buy long-term care insurance through a company recommended by the CCRC, it’s possible that your premiums could be incorporated into your monthly fees.
Find Continuing Care Retirement Communities
While CCRC costs may seem higher than other types of long-term care at first, they can actually be lower overall when spread out over a lifetime. Let our comprehensive directory help you find continuing care retirement communities today!
Written by senior housing writer Nikki Jong.