If you’ve been exploring the advantages of moving to a senior living community, no doubt you’ve come across the terms “Life Plan Community ” or “Life Care community.” For starters, the two terms are interchangeable. They are similar to a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) in that each of them engages in contracts with residents. Life Care Communities/ CCRCs may offer Type A, Type B, and/ or Type C contracts. The non-profit Type A Life care community is particularly appealing from a financial perspective. Costs are predictable for residents – and all the community’s earnings go back into supporting the organization and the quality of its facilities.
Here in Minnesota, there’s only one nonprofit Type A Life Care community and that is Friendship Village of Bloomington.
The Life Care Concept Explained
Very simply, a Life Care community is one that offers residents a wide array of amenities, activities, services, and residential options such as apartments, villas, cottages, townhomes, patio homes, etc. designed to support healthy, active seniors interested in independent living. In addition, a Life Care community also gives independent living residents great peace of mind knowing they’ll have access to a higher level of care right where they live, if they ever need it. In other words, without leaving the community, you enjoy a continuum of care and can seamlessly transition from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing, as well as memory care, should your health needs change.
Understanding Different Types of Contracts
There are three primary types of contracts that are commonly offered at Life Plan Communities/CCRCs. All cover you for long-term care, which includes your meals, and help with the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as assistance with taking medication, bathing, dressing and grooming. Beyond those common denominators, costs and inclusions vary.
Type A Life Care Contract – An Ideal Choice for Many Reasons
Many seniors and families view the Type A Life Care community as the most attractive because of its robust features. Here in Minnesota, the only senior living community offering Type A contracts is Friendship Village of Bloomington. Type A is considered the gold standard of senior living contracts – the most comprehensive and all-inclusive of all available contract types.. Residents pay an entrance fee and then pay a fixed monthly fee as part of the agreement. The contract for a Type A Life Care Community includes your residence (such as an independent living apartment) and a meal plan, as well as comprehensive health care services. And access to the community’s amenities (such as fitness facilities, activities and social events) is also included in your monthly fee.
If and when your medical needs change, you’re able to move to the next level of care, which may be assisted living, short- or long-term skilled nursing, or memory care. Because you have a Life Care contract, you can move to this higher level of living at little to no increase over what you were paying as an independent living resident. Possible extra costs include additional meals and/or the cost of special supplies that may be needed for advanced care.
The Type A Life Care community contract cost is higher compared to other contracts. However, when you consider the wide-ranging services and amenities, as well as having preferred access to on-site medical care, the peace of mind knowing you’re cared for throughout your senior years in every way makes it a wise and stable investment.
Type B Modified Plan (aka Modified CCRC or Modified Agreement)
While Type B includes most of the benefits of a Type A contract, it has limits on how long you’ll be able to utilize assisted living or skilled nursing care if those needs arise.
While the entrance fee is lower, the risk of knowing you might need a higher level of care longer than the time limit allows means you may find yourself paying more in the long run. That said, the plus side is that if you do require assisted living or skilled nursing care, these services are typically available at a discounted rate.
Type C Fee-for-Service Contract
With its significantly lower entrance fee, Type C can be an attractive option. You’ll have access to some or all facilities and amenities. However, with this contract, residents are required to pay market prices for medical services on an as-needed basis. It’s important to weigh your ability to pay upfront costs versus what funds you’ll have available (such as an annuity or pension) to cover inevitable medical costs, assisted living and/or skilled nursing care as you age.
Find out More About the Advantages of a Type A Life Care Contract
If you’re ready to explore more of the benefits of our senior living community and gain a better understanding of why the Type A Life Care contract is deal for many seniors, we’re here to answer your questions. Simply complete the form below and one of our team members will be in touch shortly.