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Are continuing care communities the answer?

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John Goodman — an economist who serves as the president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a high-profile think tank that promotes use of free markets to address health care system problems — recently put the spotlight on continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

Goodman posted a blog entry with the headline “Goodbye to long-term care insurance.”

He cited a column by a Dallas Morning News columnist who suggested that CCRCs might make a good replacement for private long-term care insurance (LTCI).

A CCRC gives residents a chance to buy access to live in a senior community that offers ordinary retirement residences, assisted living care and nursing care on a single piece of property.

Readers pointed out in comments that CCRC fees can be high, and that there is no guarantee that a CCRC will stay solvent.

“What happens to a resident if the facility runs out of money and has to close down?” one reader asked.

Other readers pointed out that, even though residents can get home health care and living assistance at a CCRC, residents may have to pay roughly as much in fees to get those services through the CCRC as if they were still living in the community. 

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