All types of senior living options require applicants to undergo a screening process before they move into the community. This can involve a lot of paperwork, especially in the case of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs).
All that paperwork might seem like a hassle, but a thorough application doesn’t just help the community ensure that you’ll be a good fit—it also helps you determine whether the community will be right for you. That, along with understanding what you can expect from a potential new living arrangement, is well worth the hassle. In fact, it’s priceless.
It’s in the best interest of both parties, applicant and community, to determine whether it’s a good fit on both sides. The CCRC application process is not identical at every community, but there are some basic standard requirements.
Here’s a brief look at what you can expect when you apply.
You will be required to undergo a health assessment that includes a physical and mental health exam. You’ll also have to share your medical history with the community. This helps determine the kind of care you’ll need if you are accepted, and what kind of care you’re likely to need in the future.
All CCRCs require proof of an applicant’s financial ability to pay. This means you’ll have to show that you can afford to pay the entrance or buy-in fee, monthly fees and all other extra costs associated with moving in, including any insurance premiums that you’ll be required to pay as a stipulation of being a resident.
In addition to proving that you’re able to pay now, you’ll have to demonstrate your ability to pay for your care and services in the future, if you require additional care that is outside the scope of your agreement, and as your fees increase to cover the cost of inflation over time.
Most people don’t have the personal resources to pay entirely out of pocket for CCRC costs. Therefore, paying for a CCRC is usually done with a combination of personal funds and insurance coverage.
It is very common for CCRCs to require applicants to show proof of Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Some additionally require long-term care insurance and/or Medigap (Supplemental Insurance) coverage.
You may be required to share copies of certain legal documents with the community as they pertain to your healthcare. Documents may include a living will and a durable power of attorney. These documents will be filed and accessed in the event that you become unable to make medical decisions on your own behalf. In that event, the community would follow your instructions, as detailed in the document(s), or the instructions of your designated spokesperson.
The CCRC application process is very thorough, but it will help you determine whether the community is right for you. Don’t be daunted. Although you may be required to share many personal details about your health and finances, all of that information is kept strictly confidential.
Remember, the CCRC also wants to make sure they’re making the right choice in accepting you as a resident. So ask questions, and ask for any help you need during the application process—they’ll be happy to give it.
Written by senior housing writer Nikki Jong.