Do you wish to write a rate increase letter for assisted living? If YES, here is how you can write a presentable rate increase letter for assisted living. Cost is a primary factor that people consider when choosing an independent living community, assisted living community, memory care facility, or nursing home. The initial quotes these facilities provide are often staggering, but consumers in this age are becoming more eager to pay even more for room, board, and care.
When the prospect of rate increase is not factored into a senior living decision, it produces an inaccurate estimate of what an elder can afford to spend on long-term care. This jeopardizes a resident’s ability to remain in one place over the long term, which can be very disruptive.
Currently, some assisted living facilities are trying to pass along increased costs from the COVID-19 pandemic to their residents. Note that these higher costs can take the form of a rate increase for current items and services or charges for new items and services. In general, assisted living facilities are free to set their own rates and charge whatever amount residents are willing to pay.
However, most state laws only mandate that these facilities comply with certain notice requirements for rate increases to be valid. These facilities are expected to give at least 60 days prior written notice of an increase (Rate Increase Letter) in any rate for services, except for an increase in rate due to a change in the level of care for a resident.
Note that this written notice is expected to include the amount of the increase, the reason for the increase, and a general description of the additional costs. Furthermore, some admission agreements may provide additional requirements for rate increases that are even more protective than most state laws, i.e., all rate increases must be signed by the Executive Director, the facility will not raise rates during the first year of admission, or the facility will raise its rates no more than once a year.
Howbeit, there is no prohibition against assisted living facilities passing along COVID-related costs. For example, if a facility proposes to increase the monthly fee for all residents by $200 a month to cover the cost of PPE for residents, staff, and visitors, the increase would be legal as long as it complies with the written notice requirements, and any additional protections set forth in the admission agreement.
3 Steps to Write a Rate Increase Letter for Assisted Living
Here are some points which can help identify how to raise your rates and compose a superb rate increase letter.
A Clear, Detailed Structure
Note that there should be a balance between the maximization of the value given to residents and maintaining the momentum of your assisted living facility. These two factors might not be mutually exclusive, but really necessary.
2. Keep Your Letter Direct And Simple
Always remember that the time of both you and the recipient of your letter is very valuable so never beat around the bush. A good letter should have a brief salutation, the statement of your intent to increase your rates by a specific amount starting on a specified date. Then add a statement where you thank your recipient for their interest. That’s all that is really needed.
3. Give A Justification For The Rate Increase
Do not forget to justify your increase with a simple phrase but don’t spend too much time on it. Furthermore, use simple sentences which are direct to the point. There is no need for sad stories. One method you may want to employ when increasing your rate is by adding more value to the services you offer. This will soften the impact of any rate change.
You can increase your rates because your services or products have already improved in terms of their quality. Then interject how some new product features can further benefit the customers like learning and applying new skills or providing some extra service. You can include this information in the letter.
Sample Template of a Rate Increase Letter for Assisted Living
Subject: [Facility Name] Rate Increase Notice
Hi [Recipient or Resident’s Name],
As you know, [Facility Name] is committed to providing high-quality, professional health care services to our residents.
We have been growing a lot in the last year and in order to continue to offer you great services; we will be increasing our rates by [Percentage] starting on [Month, Day, Year]. This will ensure that we can continue to focus on the quality of our services by working with the best suppliers and health care professionals to get the job done right, every time.
We appreciate your support and are happy to have your loved one as a resident. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
It is a good idea to give your residents or their sponsors’ several notices before you send the rate increase letter. Rate increases aren’t uncommon in independent living communities but many of your residents may require more time to seek alternatives or pay up the bill. Therefore, always give a few months’ notices before sending them your planned rate increase. For valued residents who you do plenty of work for, afford them an extension on the planned increase.