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Understanding Entrance Fees for Senior Living Communities

senior couple learning about entrance fees for retirement communities with their financial advisor

With so many senior living options out there, we understand the challenge of finding the right fit for you or your loved one. You have to consider budget, lifestyle preferences, care needs, and services and amenities offered.

As you begin your research on different senior living communities, you’ll find that many require entrance fees, or what we call “admission payments.” At Monarch Landing, we are a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC) that has a one-time admission payment.

We’ll break down everything that comes with the entrance fee, as well as an overview of how they work.

How do entrance fees for retirement communities work?

Entrance fees, or admission payments, are just as they sound. They are an upfront cost paid by incoming residents in order to secure their homes within the senior living community.

These fees are most commonly associated with a Life Plan Community like ours, which offers independent living and a continuum of care including memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation services. Here are six aspects of how entrance fees for Life Plan Communities generally work:

1. Levels of care

Life Plan Communities provide different levels of care, from independent living to more comprehensive care. When you enter a Life Plan Community, you are essentially putting a plan in place for long-term care at the community and ensuring priority access to that care if your needs change over time.

2. Payment structure

Entrance fees vary widely based on the type of residence you select, the size of the community, its location, and the specific services and amenities these communities offer. These fees are transparent from the start and ensure care for the future, along with home maintenance services, housekeeping, meals, utilities, transportation, and other convenient amenities.

3. Refundable versus non-refundable

Entrance fees can be either refundable or non-refundable. The refundable portion means that a portion of the fee is returned to you or your estate if you leave the community or pass away. The refundable portion can vary, and the refund terms should be clearly outlined in your contract so there will be no surprises.

4. Monthly fees

In addition to the entrance fee, residents of Life Plan Communities typically pay ongoing monthly fees. These fees may cover home maintenance, utilities, meals, recreational activities, and access to health care services. Monthly fees can also vary based on the level of care you need.

5. Contract types

Life Plan Communities offer a variety of contract options, which can affect entrance fees and monthly costs. Common contract types include:

  • Type A (LifeCare): This is the most comprehensive contract, where residents pay a higher entrance fee but receive unlimited access to on-site health care services without significant increases in monthly fees as their care needs change.
  • Type B (Modified): In this contract, residents pay a lower entrance fee but may have to pay more in monthly fees as they transition to higher levels of care.
  • Type C (Fee-for-Service): Residents typically pay a lower entrance fee than a Type A contract and only pay for the services they need as they move to higher levels of care. This can be more cost-effective for those who don’t need immediate access to all levels of care. If the time comes when care is needed, residents will have priority access but will pay market rates for health services.

6. Financial qualifications

Some Life Plan Communities may have financial eligibility requirements to ensure that residents can meet their financial obligations. They may require proof of financial stability to cover the entrance fee and ongoing monthly fees.

Before you or a loved one signs a contract, it’s crucial to thoroughly review the entrance fee structure, refund policies, and monthly fees. If you’re unsure about your options, we recommend consulting with a financial advisor and an attorney who specializes in elder law. Additionally, consider visiting the community, talking to current residents, and assessing the available amenities and health care services to ensure they meet your needs and expectations.

What you need to know about Monarch Landing’s Type C contract

The costs of senior living may seem daunting, but the peace of mind that comes with paying for guaranteed future care is invaluable. Since Monarch Landing is a Type C Life Plan Community, you’ll pay a one-time admission Payment and monthly fees, and then only pay for higher levels of care if needed.

Each day, you or your loved one will have the freedom to choose what life at Monarch Landing looks like – from personal touches on apartments to activities, social events, amenities, and programming.

Here’s an idea of the cost of living at Monarch Landing. We also offer a Return of Capital refundability plan, which ensures a substantial, partial repayment of your admission payment to you or your estate should you leave or pass away.

Experience the comfort and convenience of Monarch Landing’s Life Plan Community

To learn more about Monarch Landing’s Type C contract, and the benefits that come with living at a Life Plan Community, call 630.548.0400.