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Cease & desist letters sent to Michigan senior living facilities over COVID-19 fee

nurse holding stethoscope checking heartbeat of elder patient

Michigan’s Attorney General is warning the operators of senior living facilities against charging a special COVID-19 fee.

This week, the attorney general’s office sent out cease and desist notices to eleven senior facilities after receiving nearly 40 complaints from residents and family members about a special $900 fee.

The attorney general’s office says the fee appears intended to offset cost increases attributed to the COVID-19 response. But the AG’s office says the fee potentially violates Michigan’s consumer protection laws.

“This pandemic has caused financial strain for many people and businesses in Michigan, but that does not provide companies with the right to impose unauthorized costs on their customers and clients – especially those in our senior communities and others who are already living on a fixed income,” says Attorney General Dana Nessel. 

The facilities are spread around lower Michigan, from Petoskey to Saline.

The companies have 10 days to respond to the cease and desist letters or face a formal investigation and potential legal action from the attorney general’s office.

A spokesperson for Senior Village Management, LLC says the company has received a cease and desist letter from the Michigan attorney general’s office. But Marketing Director Irina Olgart says, “we are NOT charging the COVID Fee” and insists they haven’t charged the fee in the past. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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