MaCCRA is the acronym for the Maryland Continuing Care Residents Association. It is the only organization which is solely dedicated to protecting and advancing the interest of residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Big deal, you say. Yes, it is a big deal because we have a lot of money invested in the community where we live. The entrance fee for an apartment represents the equity from selling a house or from investments. The deposit alone can be hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the community and size of the apartment.
- I attended the semi-annual meeting one the state chapter meeting Saturday, December 10. Sixteen communities were represented. The Maryland chapter founded in 1993, hired Barbara Marx Brocato to provide legislative services to the new organization. She continues in that role today.
In the small world category, I was President of the trade association for CCRCs, MANPHA who met MaCCRA representatives in 1993. MaCCRA makes a difference. MaCCRA supported passage of legislation that:
- creates an annually reviewed Disclosure Statement that provides vital information to prospective residents,
- allows a resident to be a full-time member of the governing board, (Charlestown has two resident directors and two honorary board members who have served 15 years or more.)
- requires a 15% operating reserve in the financial structure of CCRCs. It rises to 25% by 2023.
- established an internal grievance procedure for residents of the CCRC.
- limits use of the CCRCs operating reserves.
- requires presentation to prospective residents about refundable entrance fees contracts and other CCRC risks.
- requires an annual budget to be made available to residents. (Our Residents Council Finance Committee makes recommendations to our administration as the yearly budget is set as well as reviewing the monthly budget and expense accounts.)
- requires an actuarial study every three years for type A & B CCRCs. (MaCCRA supports actuarial studies for the Type C pay as you go communities like Charlestown.)
- requires the release of non-confidential portions of governing body minutes 30 days after approval.
- makes residents creditors in event of bankruptcy.