A Washington state bill that lawmakers say will provide increased transparency and oversight of continuing care retirement / life plan communities soon will be on its way to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee to be signed into law. H.B. 2726, passed by the state House of Representatives and the Senate, would become effective July 1, 2017.

“Moving into a retirement community is one of the most important decisions that seniors make in our state as we age,” said state Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, the bill’s primary sponsor. “It’s essential that we have open, transparent access to the costs and fees of these communities, and the protections under the state’s Consumer Protection Act for residents.”

The legislation would affect two dozen retirement communities located around the state, Walkinshaw said. Although CCRCs are not a regulated entity in Washington, any assisted living component or skilled nursing component must meet the state licensing standards for those types of facilities.

Walkinshaw’s bill:

  • Establishes standards for CCRCs to become certified with the Department of Social and Health Services.
  • Requires CCRCs to provide prospective residents with a disclosure statement that contains specified information about the CCRC.
  • Establishes rights for residents of CCRCs and requirements that notice of the rights be posted in the CCRC.

This legislation is one of the first in the country to provide these regulations to protect consumers, Walkinshaw said, adding that the Washington legislation was modeled on a law signed by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy in June that became effective Oct. 1.