An entrance fee is a large ($30k - $1 million or more), sometimes refundable, cost at the time of move-in. These are typically charged by continuing care retirement communities and ensure access to care as residents' needs increase.
Entrance fees are typically refundable (often 100%, 90%, or 50% of the original amount) and are sometimes used by a community to offset lower monthly rent payments. For instance, with a $100k entrance fee the community may charge $4,700 per month in rent, but with a $200k entrance fee the community may charge $4,000 per month in rent.
The refundability of an entrance fee is dependent on several factors including the amount of care the resident consumes, when he or she leaves the community, the monthly amount paid in rent, or the community's ability to rent/sell the space after the resident has moved out. It is important that you and your estate explore all of the scenarios in which you will receive a refund.