Category Archives: Corporate Office

LifeSpire elects new trustee

04/12/2018

By Ann Lovell

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the election of Sara Marchello to LifeSpire’s board of trustees. Marchello was elected at the trustee’s quarterly meeting March 6 in Richmond.

Marchello, who lives in Hampton, is associate provost and university registrar with The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.

“We are pleased to welcome Ms. Marchello to the board of LifeSpire,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and CEO. “Her specialized background uniquely equips her to guide our organization into a vibrant future where resident choice is paramount.”

Marchello holds a bachelor’s degree from Knox College and a master of science in teaching from the University of Chicago. She is a member of a number of professional associations and non-profit boards in the Hampton area. Marchello is married to Tom Morehouse and is the proud parent of Hampton native Libby Towell, who lives and works in Washington, DC.

 

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

Differences Between For-Profit and Not-For Profit CCRCs

03/22/2018

By Brad Breeding

“What is the difference between a not-for-profit community and a for-profit community?” This is a popular question among prospective residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), also referred to as Life Plan Communities.

Many not-for-profit CCRCs are single site organizations, although some are part of a larger group. The distinguishing feature of a not-for-profit CCRC, as with other not-for-profit organizations, is that all of the money earned or donated goes towards pursuing the organization’s objectives, instead of to the owners. Not-for-profit CCRCs are typically structured as 501(c)(3) organizations, which, by definition, requires that they operate  for charitable purposes. Providing lifetime housing and health care services, even if a resident’s personal finances are depleted, is often core to that charitable purpose. Most not-for-profit CCRCs will maintain a foundation or endowment fund which, if properly funded, can greatly enhance the organization’s ability to provide such financial assistance.

Providing continued housing and services to those who have depleted their assets, due to no fault of their own, is a mission and not a guarantee. While the vast majority of not-for-profit CCRCs have been successful in fulfilling their mission, financial assistance is ultimately conditional on the community’s ability to provide funds while operating on a sound financial basis. In some cases a community may even require that financial subsidies be repaid by the heirs or the estate at death.

By contrast, for-profit communities are often owned by a larger parent organization and are typically more profit-driven than charitably driven. This is not inherently bad because, after all, leaders of a quality organization know that if they do not offer a desirable product and look after their residents then eventually there will be no profits. And while a for-profit CCRC may be more inclined to ask a resident to leave if they are no longer able to pay, most operators understand that it is good business practice to accommodate residents to the extent possible. They do not want a reputation in the community of being uncompassionate. In fact, some for-profit CCRCs also maintain separate charitable funds to provide financial aid for residents.

In theory, the chances of a resident requiring financial assistance from the community should be relatively low, regardless of whether it is a for-profit or not-for-profit provider. This is because most CCRCs go through a financial qualification process with new residents. A thorough process will help ensure a higher than average chance that the resident has enough money, under average circumstances. Furthermore, many providers offer a refundable entry fee, and in this case, if the resident runs out of money then their entry fee refund will almost always be used to offset healthcare expenses before any financial assistance will become available. Finally, for providers who accept Medicaid, residents may qualify for government assistance to cover healthcare expenses when they exhaust their funds.

LifeSpire of Virginia is a non-profit, faith-based provider that operates four continuing care retirement communities across Virginia. The Virginia Baptist Foundation raises funds to help LifeSpire’s life care residents who outlive their financial resources remain in their homes. In 2017, the VBH Foundation provided more than $1,100,000 in benevolence to 59 residents across all four communities.

To learn more about a LifeSpire of Virginia community, contact one of our retirement counselors today:

The Culpeper: Rose Wallace, Director of Marketing, RWALLACE@THECULPEPER.ORG, 540-825-2411.

The Chesapeake: Liz Gee, Director of Marketing, LGEE@THECHESAPEAKE.ORG, 757-223-1600

Lakewood: Donna Buhrman, Director of Marketing, DBUHRMAN@LAKEWOODWESTEND.ORG, 804-740-2900

The Glebe: Helen Burnett, Director of Marketing, HBURNETT@THEGLEBE.ORG, 540-591-2100 

Brad Breeding is co-founder and president of MYLIFESITE, a website designed to provide objective information about continuing care retirement communities. A certified financial planner, Brad’s extensive knowledge of the senior living industry, combined with his financial planning background, allows him to provide valuable insights about lifestyle, healthcare, and financial planning considerations for seniors. This article is legally licensed for use.  

Lakewood to begin community center demolition Feb. 9

By Ann Lovell

Lakewood’s current community center, seen to the right in this aerial view, will be demolished Feb. 9 to make way for a $64-million expansion to the campus.

RICHMOND, Virginia—Lakewood, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s west end, will begin demolishing its community center Feb. 9 to make way for a $64-million expansion to its campus.

To mark the beginning of the demolition, the retirement community will host a remembrance and celebration service for residents and guests at 3 p.m. Feb. 9 in the community’s Simms Center.

Lakewood Executive Director Barrett Way recognizes the importance of the community center to many Lakewood residents and wants to mark the occasion appropriately — honoring the past while also looking forward to the future.

“We want to remember what happened in this building,” Way said. “We have a lot of residents, resident families and past residents who have the experience of being in this building … and we want to remember and appreciate those memories.”

Lakewood’s expansion includes a state-of-the-art four-story clubhouse, pictured in this architectural rendering, with 44 apartments on the upper floors, underground parking and an indoor pool and fitness center.

The community center, which opened July 20, 1978, once housed the community’s health care center. It will be replaced by a state-of-the-art four-story clubhouse with 44 apartments on the upper floors. The new clubhouse will also provide underground parking and offer views of a new lake with walking paths, gardens, fire pits and a waterfall feature, Way said. In addition the expansion will include two mansion-style buildings with 10 homes in each.

“On Feb. 9 we’ll have a celebration of knocking the building down, but also a time to remember the individuals who called this building home. We want to remember the memories that took place in this space, but also celebrate the future as we welcome a brand new state-of-the-art campus,” Way said.

Ann Lovell is corporate director of communications for LifeSpire of Virginia. For more information, she may be contacted at alovell@lifespireliving.org or by phone at (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia manages four continuing care retirement communities across Virginia: The Glebe in Daleville, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Chesapeake in Newport News, and Lakewood in Richmond.

LifeCare Contracts Explained

By Brad Breeding

A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted the concerns with long-term care insurance for senior adults. An alternative to long-term care insurance is a lifecare contract at a continuing care retirement community.But what is a lifecare contract and how can it benefit you or your loved ones who may need long-term care?

Lifecare Contracts Explained

A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC, or “Life Plan Community”) can be a wonderful solution for older adults who are independent and active today, but who seek the peace of mind that comes with living in a community where assisted living or health care services will be provided when needed. A CCRC is the only type of retirement community that contractually provides access to services spanning the full continuum of care — beginning with independent living and progressing to assisted living and around-the-clock skilled nursing care.

Yet, CCRCs are not all created equal and resident payment plans can vary dramatically from one provider to another. No single contract type is right for everyone so it is important to understand the differences and make an educated decision regarding your unique situation.

Key Features of Lifecare Contracts

Lifecare contracts are often considered an all-inclusive model and are essentially a form of insurance against the future costs of healthcare services. Among entry-fee CCRCs, a community that offers a lifecare contract will typically require a higher monthly fee while a resident is living independently. The benefit, however, is that the resident has better predictability of monthly expenses over their lifetime because their monthly rate will not increase to reflect the cost of healthcare services when such services are required. Keep in mind that the monthly rate is also influenced by other factors, such as amenities, size of the residential unit, and geographic region.

Other Considerations

Residents who choose a lifecare contract are paying in advance for assisted living and/or health care services that they may or may not need. To help alleviate this concern many communities offering lifecare contracts also offer partially or fully refundable entry fees. Another consideration is that some portion of the entry fee and/or the monthly fee may be deductible as a pre-paid healthcare expense1. (Refundable portions of the entry-fee are not deductible.)

Tip

If you do not own comprehensive long-term care insurance and you seek protection against out-of-pocket costs for extended healthcare needs then a lifecare contract may be right for you. (Those who already own long-term care insurance you may still be able to use it in a lifecare community under certain situations.) The benefit of lifecare is often magnified in the case of double occupancy because the monthly rate under a lifecare contract will likely be substantially less than the cost of two people paying separately for care at market rates over an extended period of time.

To learn more about lifecare contracts at a LifeSpire of Virginia community, contact one of our retirement counselors today:

The Chesapeake: Liz Gee, (757) 223-1600
The Culpeper: Rose Wallace, (540) 825-2411
The Glebe: Helen Burnett, (540) 591-2100
Lakewood: Donna Buhrman, (804) 740-2900

Brad Breeding is co-founder and president of myLifeSite, a research and advocacy website for seniors. This content is legally licensed for use.

Understanding long-term care insurance

By Brad Breeding

If you or a loved one own long-term care insurance (LTCI) it is important to understand how the policy works and what it covers so you will be better equipped to incorporate it into your overall retirement plan. Here is a description of the key components of LTCI:

Type(s) of Care Covered

If you own long-term care insurance (LTCI) or are thinking about purchasing coverage it is important to understand how the policy works and what it covers. Adult children should also be familiar with the details of their parents’ coverage because they will likely be involved with coordinating LTCI benefits when the time comes. By understanding the details of the policy you will be better equipped to get the most out of your coverage when it is needed.

What type of care is covered?

The earliest forms of LTCI (issued more than two decades ago) were considered “nursing home” policies, which covered skilled nursing services received in a nursing facility. Long-term care delivered at home or in an assisted living facility were not covered expenses.

Eventually policies began covering care in assisted living facilities and sometimes at-home care, but often at a discounted amount. For example, the policy might cover care in an assisted living facility at 50 percent of the benefit amount that would be paid for care received in a skilled nursing facility.

Most policies issued within the last five to 10 years are more comprehensive, providing the same amount of coverage regardless of where care is received. These policies may also cover expenses like adult day care and respite care.

LTCI Benefit Amount

The benefit amount is usually a daily or monthly amount, and the total lifetime benefit amount is expressed in years. For example, a policy might provide a daily benefit of $200 for three years. This amounts to a total lifetime benefit of $219,000 ($200 x 365 x 3). This does not mean that the policy must be used within three years, but rather that the policyholder has the equivalent of three years of coverage over their lifetime. However, a policy will not pay more than the stated benefit amount in any given day or month. Therefore, using the example above, the policy would not, for instance, pay out $300 for any one day of coverage.

Inflation Rider

Many policies include an “inflation rider” which increases the benefit amount annually to help ensure that the coverage amount reflects the increased cost of care over time. The formula used to determine the increase can vary from one policy to another. If your policy includes an inflation rider, you should know the current coverage amount, as opposed to the originally stated coverage amount. If this information is not clear, contact the insurance company and ask about the current benefit.

Coverage Elimination Period

Most LTCI policies have an elimination period. This is similar to a deductible, but is measured in days, not dollars. A policyholder chooses the elimination period (from zero to 180+ days) at the time of application. A longer elimination period lowers the premium, and vice versa. A policy’s elimination period can be based on days of care or calendar days. For example, a policy with a 90-day elimination period would specify if that means 90 calendar days (beginning with the first day of care), or 90 days of care. In some cases there could be a substantial difference in time between the two if there is a break in care within the 90-day period. Additionally, a policy could have different elimination periods for different care settings.

If you are thinking about buying coverage and want to keep your premiums lower, or if you want to lower premiums on your existing coverage, consider extending the elimination period. You may decide that you are willing, and able, to pay out of pocket for a certain amount of time but want to cap your exposure for all care beyond that.

Benefit Triggers

Before LTCI coverage will pay benefits, the policyholder must be unable to perform at least two of the six activities of daily living (ADLs): feeding, toileting, dressing, bathing, walking/transferring (i.e., moving from bed to wheelchair), and continence. Some policies may require that the policyholder be unable to perform three ADLs instead of two. Policies may also specify what is required before the policyholder is declared “unable” to perform a certain ADL. Additionally, some policies may include cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, as a benefit trigger. In some cases, a policy will not pay benefits unless a doctor certifies that the care is medically necessary.

Benefit Payment Methods

LTCI policies are generally categorized as either expense-incurred (reimbursement) or indemnity (set dollar amount). Under an expense-incurred policy, a policyholder only receives benefits when care is received. The policyholder, or a representative for the policyholder, must submit receipts for services. If it is an approved service, the insurance company will pay the insured or the care provider for the cost of services up to the daily (or monthly) benefit amount.

The less common indemnity plan pays the daily or monthly benefit amount stated in the policy, regardless of the actual cost of services. Once the claim is approved the benefit is paid directly to the policyholder, up to the stated benefit amount, and continues as long as eligible services are being received. The premium for an indemnity policy is typically higher than it would be for comparable coverage under an expense-incurred policy.

Hybrid Policies

An increasingly popular type of long-term care plan is actually a hybrid that combines life insurance (or a deferred annuity) and long-term care insurance. If you meet the benefit triggers, which are typically similar to those described above, then you can tap into the long-term care benefit. If, however, you never require long-term care insurance then your heirs will receive the death benefit. Additionally, if you cancel the policy anytime in between you will receive the cash surrender value at that time.

The appeal of a hybrid policy is that the policyholder (or the heirs) is assured to receive cash back whether he or she uses the long-term care insurance or not. The trade-offs are that a traditional policy will buy more coverage per dollar and a hybrid policy requires premiums to be paid in a lump sum — usually $50,000 or more, or at least within 10 years. When premiums are spread out over 10 years the amount per year will be higher than for a traditional plan since traditional plans spread payments over lifetime.

Those who own a cash value life insurance and are interested in getting long-term care insurance may be able change their existing policy into a hybrid plan without having to pay any additional premiums. This can be particularly beneficial for those who, due to health issues, may not be able to qualify for traditional long-term care insurance because hybrid plans sometimes have more flexible underwriting guidelines. This is particularly true of annuity-based hybrid plans.

For a more detailed explanation of LTCI, request a Long-Term Care Insurance Buyers Guide from your state’s insurance department. To understand how long-term insurance can be applied to living at our communities, contact a retirement counselor today:

The Culpeper: Rose Wallace, Director of Marketing, rwallace@theculpeper.org,540-825-2411.

The Chesapeake: Liz Gee, Director of Marketing, lgee@thechesapeake.org, 757-223-1600

Lakewood: Donna Buhrman, Director of Marketing, dbuhrman@lakewoodwestend.org, 804-740-2900

The Glebe: Helen Burnett, Director of Marketing, hburnett@theglebe.org, 540-591-2100 

Brad Breeding is co-founder and president of myLifeSite, a website designed to provide objective information about continuing care retirement communities. A certified financial planner, Brad’s extensive knowledge of the senior living industry, combined with his financial planning background, allows him to provide valuable insights about lifestyle, healthcare, and financial planning considerations for seniors. This article is legally licensed for use.  

 

LifeSpire welcomes new Chief Operating Officer

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to welcome Ray Fisher as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Fisher will be responsible for directing overall operations in LifeSpire’s four continuing care retirement communities through leadership, management, and vision. His expected start date is Nov. 27, 2017.

“We believe Ray will be a great addition to our team of managers and as an officer of the company,” said Scott Cave, a LifeSpire trustee who participated in the search and interview process. “We are pleased to welcome him.”

Fisher has more than 25 years’ experience at the executive level within the context of large for-profit firms and senior living organizations. He has been involved in senior living since 2001 during which time he has held positions as CFO, CEO, and advisor. He has been part of many senior living expansion projects, the most recent involving the creation of a nationally recognized short-term recovery and rehab center. As CEO, he led the turnaround of a mid-size CCRC and the successful creation and operation of a nationally recognized 48-bed rehab and wellness center.

“We are excited to welcome Ray to the LifeSpire team,” said Jonathan Cook, president and CEO. “We are building a great culture and a great team at LifeSpire, and one thing that excites us most about Ray is the depth of his background and experience.”

Fisher is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, and he earned an MS Finance degree from the University of Baltimore. He has instructed at VCU, UVA’s Darden School and the University of Baltimore. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Virginia Society of CPAs.

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Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.