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Continuing Care Retirement Communities

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a community living arrangement, typically on a single campus, that provides housing, health care, and social services. CCRCs offer different levels of services ranging from independent housing to nursing home care.

Joining a CCRC is a way of obtaining long-term care services more easily. You move into a CCRC as a resident of an independent housing unit where you can usually purchase and receive support services. When you need more care or are unable to live independently, you can move to the assisted living facility on campus. Should you need the next level of care, you can move into the on-site nursing home.

The fee arrangements for CCRCs vary and generally include both a monthly fee and an entrance fee. CCRCs charge a monthly fee based on the size of your independent living unit. Most CCRCs also charge a sizeable one-time entrance fee. In some cases the entrance fee is not refundable. In other cases the fee may be refundable under certain circumstances. If the fee is refundable it will be held by the CCRC. It is important for you to understand that if the fee you pay to the CCRC is refundable it will be counted as an available asset if you need to apply for Medicaid, even if you cannot get access to the money yourself.

More things to consider:

  • Some allow you to hire your own home health care services while you live in an independent living unit. Others require you to be fully independent to remain in an independent living unit.
  • They may require that you have a health screening before you can move into the independent living unit
  • Some allow married couples to move into an independent living unit even if one spouse requires some care