Ziegler Study: One Size Doesn’t Fit All for CCRC Entrance Fee Refund Rules

There’s no national definition of what constitutes a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), and just as what a CCRC looks like varies widely from state to state (or even community to community), there’s no uniform rule about entrance fee refunds across the nation for CCRC providers, finds a recent Ziegler report.

But although most states let providers choose their entrance fee refund provisions, some of the states with the highest number of CCRCs have mandated more specific requirements.

In Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota, for example, where the states have what Ziegler classifies as a “medium” level of regulatory involvement, various state agencies (generally relating to insurance or human services) require a disclosure regarding entrance fee refund policies, although they don’t having a specific refund timeline once a resident leaves a community.

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Ohio and Illinois, on the other hand, have low levels of state regulatory involvement, with neither disclosure requirements for refunds, nor rules for specific refund timing.

These ten states represent more than half of all CCRCs in the country, Ziegler says, at approximately 54.6%. Ziegler also points out that for all ten states, determining what constitutes a “reasonable refund repayment schedule” is left to the discretion of CCRC providers.

On the other hand, CCRCs in New York, Maryland, Michigan, and Massachusetts are subject to a high level of state regulatory involvement, with provisions both for disclosure requirements regarding entrance fee refunds, as well as refund timing.

When looking at the states Ziegler researched (which contain 82.5% of all CCRCs in the country), less than 10% of state agencies mention a specific refund repayment schedule providers must follow.

In the end, it’s important for consumers to carefully evaluate a particular community’s refund policies and contract provisions before entering that contract, Ziegler concludes.

Check out the list of states Ziegler researched and their levels of state regulatory involvement in entrance fee refund policies.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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