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CCRC/Retirement Communities News

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Vol. 22 Issue 21

 

 

LeadingAge Florida Represented at FLiCRA Best Attended Regional Meeting - On Tuesday, September 15, FLiCRA held a regional meeting in Sarasota graciously hosted by LeadingAge Florida member Bay Village. It was the largest turn out ever for a regional meeting with approximately 140 residents in attendance – many of who live in LeadingAge Florida member continuing care communities. Pat Arends, the FliCRA Statewide Board Chair, and the Region 7 Chair Glenn Van Doren welcomed residents and speakers.

Bennett Napier, FLiCRA Executive Director, and Eric Thorn, Esquire, FLiCRA Legal Counsel, provided the group with an overview of some of the legislative bills that passed during the 2015 Legislative Session. The main piece of legislation of interest to the residents was the CCRC bill (CS/HB 749). Other legislation discussed and reviewed were the ALF Bill, the Ombudsman Legislation, and the Hospital Observation Stay Bill.

The FLiCRA staff and members were very complimentary and appreciative of LeadingAge Florida staff not only for attending the meeting, but for our participation on the 2013-14 FLiCRA /LeadingAge Florida Ch. 651 Task Force and our advocacy efforts during the 2015 Legislative Session to pass the proposed legislation drafted by the Task Force. They also complimented LeadingAge Florida for our work on the ALF Legislation as well as the Department of Elder Affairs Ombudsman Bill and the Hospital Observation Bill .

Rich Robleto, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation, Virginia Christy, Chief Assistant General Counsel of the Office of Insurance Regulation, and Mary Schwartz, External Affairs with the Department of Financial Services, spoke and provided the residents with an overview of their respective roles as it relates to CCRCs . The residents were given an opportunity to ask question of the presenters.

The meeting was a great success!

 


CCRC Law Takes Effect October 1, 2015 – CS/HB 749, the continuing care retirement community bill that passed during the 2015 legislative session, takes effect on October 1, but most of the contract changes apply to contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2016. Chris Struk, Office of Insurance Regulation Programs & Policy Coordinator, has reviewed and approved a couple of contracts that address the new entrance fee refund provisions in CS/HB 749. He noted that OIR will not approve a contract that is meant to comply with the new law unless the cover letter states that it will not be used until after the appropriate dates set forth in CS/HB 749.

Since there are a number of compliance dates in CS/HB 749, we thought it might be helpful to summarize the requirements for each contract type – similar to what we did in previous updates, but in greater detail.

Traditional Contracts (s. 651.055 (1)(h)1, F.S.) – Effective January 1, 2016, entrance fee refunds for traditional contracts must be made within 90 days after the contract is terminated and the unit is vacated, rather than the current 120 days after giving notice of intent to cancel. Contracts containing the new requirement may not be used before January 1, 2016, even if OIR approves them before that date. Residents who entered into a contract before January 1, 2016, may voluntarily sign a contract addendum approved by OIR that provides for the revised refund provision rather than the one specified in their original contract. If you submit a contract change to OIR related to this provision, be sure the cover letter that accompanies it specifies that the contract will not be used until January 1, 2016.

Same Unit Contingency Refund Contracts (s. 651.055 (1)(h)2.c., F.S.) – Contracts approved by OIR before October 1, 2015, that tie the refund to the next entrance fee received for the unit that is vacated may not be used after October 1, 2016. Providers offering these contracts have until August 2, 2016, to submit a new or amended contract to OIR for approval. Contracts with alternative refund provisions intended to replace same unit contingency refund contracts may be used immediately after OIR approves them.

Like or Similar Unit Contingency Refund Contracts Approved by OIR and in Use Before October 1, 2015 (s. 651.055 (1)(h)2.b., F.S.) – OIR stopped approving these contracts approximately two years ago when legal staff determined that Florida law had been modified in 1993 to delete language that specifically allowed for their use. CS/HB 749 contains language that allows this business model to continue, but certain changes are required if a provider chooses to continue to use like or similar unit contingency refund contracts on or after January 1, 2016.

Like or Similar Unit Contingency Refund Contracts Terminated Due to a Resident’s Death or Transfer to Another Level of Care Used On or After January 1, 2016 (s. 651.055 (1)(h)3.a. (I)(II), F.S.) – Effective January 1, 2016, contracts that tie a refund to the next entrance fee received for a like or similar unit, must specify the following: “Any refund that is due upon a resident’s death or relocation to another level of care that results in the termination of the contract must be paid the earlier of: (I) 30 days after receipt by the provider of the next entrance fee received for a like or similar unit [as defined in the contract] for which there is no prior claim by any resident until paid in full; or (II) no later than a specified maximum number of months or years, determined by the provider and specified in the contract, after the contract is terminated and the unit is vacated.” Contracts containing these provisions that are approved by OIR before January 1, 2016, may be used immediately.

Please note that the law (s. 651.055 (1)(h)4, F.S.) defines the term “like or similar unit” to mean “a residential dwelling categorized into a group of units which have similar characteristics such as comparable square footage, number of bedrooms, location, age of construction, or a combination of one or more of these features. Each category must consist of at least 5% of the total number of residential units designated for independent living or 10 residential units, whichever is less. However, a group of units consisting of single-family homes may contain fewer than10 units.”

Like or Similar Unit Contingency Refund Contracts Voluntarily Terminated (s. 651.055 (1)(h)3.b. , F.S.) – For contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2016, any refund due to a resident who vacates the unit and voluntarily terminates a contract after the 7-day rescission period required by law must be paid within 30 days after receipt by the provider of the next entrance fee for a like or similar unit for which there are no prior claims by any resident until paid in full. A specified maximum number of months or years for the entrance fee to be paid is not required for voluntary contract termination by a resident.

Transferable Membership/Ownership Right Contracts – Statutory language related to contracts that provide for a transferable membership or ownership right in the CCRC was not amended by CS/HB 749. Therefore, no changes to these contracts are required. To the best of our knowledge, only two CCRCs offer such contracts.

Submission of Contracts for OIR Approval – Be sure to submit a cover letter with the proposed contract that summarizes proposed changes and specifies the date that you intend to start using the contract after it is approved by OIR.

Other Changes in CS/HB 749 Unrelated to Contracts – In addition to changes to the refund provisions in Chapter 651, F.S., CS/HB 749 includes a number of other changes including: disclosure of the final OIR examination report and corrective action plan by a representative of the provider to the executive officer of the governing body, clarification of the role and responsibilities of the residents’ council, provisions for resident representation on the board of directors at the sole discretion of the board of directors or governing body of a CCRC, and disclosure of a copy of the most recent third-party financial audit filed with the annual report to the president or chair of the residents’ council within 30 days of filing the report. CS/HB 749 also requires a CCRC that files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to include in its filing the name and contact information of a designated resident chosen by the residents’ council to serve on the creditors’ committee, if appropriate.

Resources:

  • For a copy of CS/HB 749 click here.
  • You should have received an OIR memo by email on July 7, 2015, titled House Bill 749 and Guidance on Florida's Form and Rate Filing Process. You may access the memo by clicking here.
  • An updated Office of Insurance Regulation Continuing Care contract worksheet is available here.
  • An updated disclosure check list is posted on the LeadingAge Florida website and may be accessed by clicking here.

 

Need Assistance or Have Questions?

For questions regarding the filing of your CCRC residency contracts, please contact Chris Struk, OIR Programs & Policy Coordinator - Life & Health at 850-413-2480. Although Mr. Struk has been promoted to work on other insurance products, he will continue to review CCRC contracts until his replacement is named. Even then, he will be available to provide support to that person or persons.

Other questions may be directed to Becky Griffith, OIR Examiner Analyst Supervisor at (859) 413-2520 or you may contact Mary Ellen Early, LeadingAge Florida Public Policy Liaison, at (386) 734-7681.  

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