The Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLiCRA) is asking the Florida Legislature to hear Senate Bill 1430 sponsored by Senator Tom Lee and House Bill 1349 sponsored by Representative Cyndi Stevenson.
The association is keenly interested and aware of the magnitude of recent activities at several continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) in the state of Florida. The situation that occurred, specifically, at University Village in Tampa, Florida has negatively impacted not only the welfare but also the financial footing of over five hundred residents that live in that community. The University Village case has brought to light gaps in Florida Statute 651 that could be addressed through reasonable reform.
“Senate Bill 1430 and House Bill 1349 are not perfect bills. However, there is considerable merit to some sections of the proposed legislation,” says Pat Arends, a resident of Freedom Village in Bradenton, Florida, and president of the state board of the FLiCRA.
“The association wants to ensure any legislative reform does not result in increases to ‘entry fee or monthly costs’ of residents living in continuing care retirement communities, nor impacts the ability of a CCRC to obtain financing or refinancing,” says Bennett Napier, CAE, executive director of FLiCRA.
Nonetheless, the association supports specific provisions in the proposed legislation that would not financially impact providers or residents, and that would improve the ability of the Office of Insurance Regulation to protect the rights and welfare of the 30,000 residents living in Florida communities.
FLiCRA agrees with other stakeholders that the vast majority of CCRC operators and owners are experienced, dedicated and successful in delivering quality services to thousands of seniors on a daily basis.
During the last several months, resident members of FLiCRA testified at a number of county legislative delegation meetings asking state legislators to fully debate the CCRC reform when it was filed for the 2017 session. Reasonable reform is required in 2017 to mitigate the ability of another provider to repeat similar actions that occurred at University Village. During the last two years, residents at University Village lived under a cloud of anxiety every day, not knowing what was going to happen to their community. Further, the residents have seen collectively, millions of dollars of hard earned retirement funds invested into the CCRC disappear.
The Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLiCRA) was established in 1989, and is the oldest and largest association of continuing care residents in the country. The membership of FLiCRA is exclusively made up of residents residing in Florida CCRCs. FLiCRA boasts a membership of nearly 14,000 members statewide. Its mission is to ensure quality of life for residents living in such communities.
For more information visit www.flicra.com.