Continuing Care Retirement Facilities

Chapter 523D, Code of Iowa

People are living longer today. Many 60- to 70-year-old adults are having to make difficult decisions regarding where to place their parents when they can no longer manage alone. Other people in this 60- to 70-year-old age group are examining all the possibilities available and making plans for their own future. A wide range of options are available, including adult day care, home health aides, senior apartments, traditional nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

What is a CCRC?

A CCRC is a facility that provides housing for people of retirement age and promises, by means of contracts with its residents, to provide health care and other services in an appropriate setting. Other services may include meals, housekeeping, security, transportation, and scheduled activities. The facility may be established already or may be under construction. An entrance fee is usually paid and is followed by periodic charges (usually monthly, like rent) for the length of the contract. The fee may be paid with money or property (such as a person's house). The CCRC must file with the Iowa Securities Bureau if the entrance fee is either (a) larger than $5000; or (b) larger than the sum of the fees charged for a six-month period of residency. You may contact the Regulated Industries Bureau if you want to verify if a CCRC is filed with our agency. 

Your Rights & Responsibilities

  1. If a facility is under construction, an escrow account is usually established to verify that your money is safe if the facility is not completed. Find out how your investment is protected.
  2. The resident and a personal representative, if present, (such as a guardian or a person with power of attorney) should be given a disclosure statement. You can request to see it before signing a contract. The disclosure statement should contain the following information.
       a. The owners and officers of the CCRC and their business experience;
       b. Whether it is a for profit or nonprofit business and if it is affiliated with a hospital or a charity;
       c. Whether there have been any lawsuits or court orders in the last five years;
       d. A clear description of the CCRC and the services to be provided;
       e. A detailed disclosure of all fees; and
        f. The financial statement of the company.
  3. You should receive a copy of the contract. You can review it at a location away from the salesperson and possibly have it reviewed by an attorney or an accountant. The contract may contain some of the same information as the disclosure statement, but it must include the following:
      a. A description of the full amount of money to be paid, including the value of any property assigned to the CCRC;
      b. A list of all services to be provided;
      c. A statement of all the conditions of residency (i.e., can a resident be moved due to poor health or financial condition?);
      d. A statement of the refund policies, including that a full refund can be received if the resident dies or is incapacitated before they move into the CCRC;
      e. A statement that the facility must give 60 days written notice and state just cause before requiring someone to leave (there are rare emergency exceptions); and
       f. A statement regarding whether or not monthly fees can be raised.
  4. You are always allowed the right to cancel, without penalty, within three business days of signing the contract.
  5. Check with agencies and current residents to see if they have complaints about the business.

Questions or Complaints?

If you have questions or complaints regarding a continuing care facility, contact:

Iowa Securities Bureau
Regulated Industries Unit
601 Locust St. - 4th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50309-3738