CCRCs: Risks Exists But No Federal Regulation Recommended At This Time
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) may get more oversight and regulation at a federal level in the future based upon the tone of Wednesday’s Senate Committee on Aging chaired by Herb Kohl. The committee heard testimony at a hearing entitled, "Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): Secure Retirement or Risky Investment?", from industry participants that highlighted some failures and successes of CCRCs with examples of the B’nai B’rith CCRC in Pennsylvania to some of the regulatory frame work used in Florida. The committee also released a summary report of it’s own investigation entitled “Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Risks To Seniors” While the panel did not advocate for specific regulation or guidelines at a national level immediately, the testimony brought forth ideas which included:
- the need for more stringent financial disclosure to identify risks to fiscal health of CCRCs
- a resident’s “Bill of Rights” setting expectations between management and residents
- industry accreditation above what is required at the state regulatory level
- continued coordination and vigilance at a state level for licensing compliance
- extensive background checks on owners and managers, including fingerprinting and transparent disclosure of other financial interests
“The fact is that while CCRCs are a good residential option for many retirees, entering into an agreement with one can pose financial risk,” said Kohl. “If these companies are going to take the life savings of seniors, they need to be able to guarantee they will be around to provide the lifetime of care they promise.”
Kevin McCarty, Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation in Florida, testified about the regulatory framework in Florida and the requirements for background checks on owners and management and most importantly on the financial health of the 73 licensed CCRCs. McCarty stated that regulation of CCRCs in Florida was a coordinated effort between his department, the Department of Healthcare and the Department of Financial Services and that the CCRCs in his state were evolving with the times.
“We are seeing a new trend in CCRCs extending to the home as seniors are unable or unwilling to sell their homes at current price levels,” said McCarty at the hearing.
For coverage of the GAO report, visit: CCRC GAO Report Sees Benefits But Warns of Risks
For the summary report of the committee’s investigations: “Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Risks To Seniors”