Continuing Care
Retirement Communities


Directory of Agents*
  Do you need long-term care insurance in a continuing care retirement community?

We would like to answer "no," but our latest review of the issue suggests that it may not be so simple.

The concept of a continuing care retirement community is to create a high level of security by offering all levels of health care on-site. Unfortunately, even in this apparently secure environment, there may be gaps in the financing of care that could spell trouble.

Here are some of the potential problem areas:

  1. Assistance in your unit. Some facilities place limits on the amount of care they will provide in your unit without extra charges. If these limits are low, even a minor decline in health could force you to move to a different part of the facility.  
    2. Pre-existing condition limits. Some facilities require full market-rate payment for care in their skilled nursing unit, if your illness existed at the time you joined the facility. These charges may be reduced after a period of time, often one or two years. In other facilities, you must pay the full cost for as long as you remain in the skilled nursing unit.  
    3. Increases in basic monthly costs. Most life care communities require substantial buy-ins (often $200,000 or more) as their primary source of financing membership. A growing number of facilities, however, offer simple rental arrangements. The costs in such facilities can vary a great deal, depending upon the level of care you need. In essence, these facilities provide a full range of care with the convenience of physical proximity, but they leave the financing entirely to you.

  Long-term care insurance may provide a solution in the above situations. For example, if your only exposure to increased costs is your facility's limitation on coverage for assistance in your unit, a home care insurance policy might make sense.

Alternatively, if you live in a rent-only facility, where you would have to bear the entire cost of any kind of health care, a complete package of long-term care insurance might be your best protection.

We recommend that you ask some questions about the financing of care before you select a continuing care retirement community. We also suggest that you look into long-term care insurance as a potential financial supplement, if your facility does not cover all of the possible levels of assistance and care in a single fee that you know won't rise higher or faster than your ability to pay.

For a list of individuals and/or companies who can advise you and assist you to evaluate long-term care insurance, refer to our
Directory of Agents.*


* Please note that ElderNet does not endorse and is not affiliated in any way with any of the listings on our Directory of Agents. Please read our disclaimer before using the Directory.

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