Fla CCRC fraud bill under fire

The LeadingAge Florida association is speaking out against a proposed bill to crack down on fraud within the state’s continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), calling it overkill legislation that could hurt seniors more than help them.

Florida’s SB1430, Protecting Florida Seniors from Financial Fraud Act, regulates CCRCs under the Floridaa Insurance Code. “Continuing care providers contract for services substantially similar to life, health, and long-term care insurance products. Therefore, the Legislature finds that providers of continuing care and continuing care at-home are engaged in the business of insurance,” the bill reads.

Among the bill’s proposed requirements for CCRC operators: Monthly documents showing financial accountability, 30-day notice to residents on any financing changes, written approval from the state insurance office before any new significant construction or expansions, and the mandated escrow of entrance fees and deposits earmarked for expansion.

Others say the bill is an attempt to over-regulate a problem that isn’t big enough statewide to merit the bill’s scope.

“SB1430 is a 100-page bill that imposes massive new regulations on all 71 CCRCs in an effort to correct a problem with a single community that was taken over and managed by a known bad actor, who ignored existing Florida laws,” said Steve Bahmer, LeadingAge Florida President and CEO, in an association statement. “It is regulatory overreach that will drive up costs for seniors, inhibit investment in expansion and construction of new communities in Florida, and unnecessarily disrupt a field that has been financially strong for decades.”

Another point of contention is how the bill might affect residents’ CCRC fees—and the state’s ability to attract new construction and investment in the CCRC sector. Perhaps the bill’s biggest flaw? It was developed without input from CCRCs or their residents, which will likely send legislators back to the drawing board.

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