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What Is a Life Plan Community?

Advisor shaking hands with senior woman.

What is a Life Plan Community?


When you read about senior living, you’ll likely come across the term, “Life Plan Community.” Also known as a CCRC (continuing care retirement community), a Life Plan Community refers to a senior living community that offers residents an independent lifestyle with inclusive services and amenities, as well as priority access to higher level care options if ever needed.

Are Life Plan Communities all the same?

Life Plan Communities (also called CCRCs) are not all the same because they offer varying types of contracts. These Life Plan contracts outline the services and amenities provided in the community and how much residents pay for health care. At Casa, our contract options – Type A and Type C – allow residents access to all levels of care such as assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing. Because of the financial benefit and access to care for residents for life, seniors must qualify financially and come into the community able to care for themselves and live independently to take advantage of either contract. Therefore, it’s important not to delay the decision and instead, move while you are able to qualify. Casa de las Campanas is the only not-for-profit Senior Community in San Diego County offering both a Type A and Type C Life Plan contract.

How does a Life Plan Community work?

A Life Plan Community is a senior community offering a range of residential living options, services and amenities, along with a lifelong continuum of health care services. Casa de las Campanas is a community that takes the Life Plan one step further: offering unparalleled access to lifetime care with what is called a LifeCare – or Type A – contract. We also offer what is referred to as a fee-for-service contract, or Type C contract. Understanding the two contract types is step one in making an educated decision and, let’s face it, that decision is all about ensuring peace of mind as you age. At a not-for-profit community like Casa de las Campanas, these entrance fees are reinvested in infrastructure, community offerings, and health care services to ensure the highest quality and best living experience for our residents.

What are the financial advantages of a Life Plan Community?

With a Type A contract option like that offered at Casa de las Campanas, your estate won’t be depleted by the rising costs of long-term care, because care is prearranged and available at predictable prices well below market rates. There are also advantages to be had depending on the type of contract the community offers. Life Plan contracts vary with respect to refundability and savings that are available when someone transitions to the higher levels of living – assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. It’s important to discuss these options as you visit different communities.

At Casa de las Campanas, in addition to two Type A return-on-investment contracts, we also offer what is referred to as a fee-for-service contract, or Type C contract. One advantage of a Type C contract is a lower entrance fee.

Our contract types offer you choices on how you manage your assets. It’s also possible to save on your taxes, as a portion of your entrance fee and ongoing monthly fee are considered pre-paid medical expenses and may be tax-deductible. We recommend you speak to a tax advisor to determine your eligibility. Our website also has a host of planning tools and other resources you may find helpful. Follow this link to see them all.

Are there other fees at a Life Plan Community?

After you move in, you’ll pay a monthly fee. This covers most of the costs of daily living you’d normally have in a house, such as maintenance, utilities, housekeeping, some meals, and so on, but you’ll also have the convenience of services and amenities you wouldn’t get at home. At Casa de las Campanas, there are many: think gourmet dining at our on-campus restaurants, flat linen service, a fully equipped fitness center with a massage room, an all-season indoor pool and heated outdoor pool, arts and crafts studio, hair and nail salon, entertainment and social events, local transportation and more.

Why should seniors choose a Life Plan Community?

Healthy and active older adults who enter independent living in a Life Plan Community like Casa get the most value for their money. They enjoy retirement without the hassles and chores of homeownership, with the freedom to indulge their zest for life as they wish: travel, family, friendships, social activities, lifelong learning, etc. Because Life Plan Communities focus on whole-person wellness programs designed specifically for seniors, they can also look forward to maintaining and bettering their quality of life for the long term. And, if their health needs change, they can count on easy access to a full continuum of senior health care.

What kinds of health services are there?

Living in a CCRC such as ours is an assurance that if long-term care is ever needed — assisted livingmemory carerehabilitation and skilled nursing— you’ll have that care. And, when you choose a Type A contract, you’ll receive it for about the same monthly rate you pay for independent living. It’s high-quality care for significantly less than what you’d pay elsewhere, as it’s a predetermined, highly reduced rate. You’ll know where you or your loved one will receive care, who will provide it and what it will cost.

With Casa’s Type C contract option, you still have priority access to that great care but you’ll pay market rates.

How does a Life Plan Community provide peace of mind?

The reason so many older adults turn to a Life Plan Community, or CCRC, is because of the stability it provides. They have lifetime residency within the community and lifetime access to high-quality care. Plus, they won’t have to cope with moving elsewhere in case of a health emergency. In a Life Plan Community like Casa de las Campanas, our full continuum of care ensures that if you or your spouse ever need care, you won’t be far apart. We understand it’s tough to plan ahead when you don’t know what the future will bring — but we’ve been doing this for a while (since 1988 to be exact) and we have additional ideas to share with you in a helpful guide you can download here.

Awarded Best in San Diego, Again and Again

Casa de las Campanas has served San Diego’s seniors since 1988. We’re proud to be awarded “Best Retirement/Independent Living Community” in three recent polls: San Diego’s Best Assisted Living—Union-Tribune Readers Poll, San Diego Reader—Best of Poll, and Pomerado News’ Best of North Inland Reader’s Poll, which we’ve won for eight years running. We’re passionate about giving San Diego County seniors a rewarding lifestyle, financial security, and peace of mind for years to come. Contact us to find out more about our continuing care retirement community.