Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation
Robert C. Gerhard, III is a certified Pennsylvania elder law attorney, one of just a few in the entire Commonwealth. Why certification? It shows his commitment to elder law.
In fact, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Rules of Professional Conduct mandate that only those attorneys who have obtained the "Certified Elder Law Attorney" designation can state that they specialize in elder law. Mr. Gerhard is an elder law specialist and has been honored by his peers in Philadelphia Magazine and Pennsylvania Lawyer as a "Super Lawyer" from 2006 to 2013 in the field of elder law.
Attorney Gerhard is past Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Elder Law Section, and has chaired the Montgomery Bar Association's Elder Law Committee for the past eleven years.
Mr. Gerhard was selected by peer review to be included in the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers in America and was also recognized in the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers in Philadelphia as published in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He also in appeared in the 2010 edition of Philadelphia Magazine as a "Five Star Wealth Manager." Attorney Gerhard was recognized by the Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly as a "Fast Track Lawyer" and a leader in the field of elder law. In June 2007 the Philadelphia Inquirer gave top honors to Robert C. Gerhard, III as the 2007 Neighbor's Choice Award winner in the Montgomery County lawyer category. He has been interviewed by journalists researching articles for newspapers and other publications, including Money Magazine. In June 2013 he was quoted in Kiplinger's Retirement Report discussing the perils of Medicaid planning. Learn more...
Pennsylvania Medicaid Myths
So many times clients come to our office under the mistaken impression that there is nothing that can be done to protect assets from nursing home costs. Much of the popular literature gives readers the idea that unless assets are given away three years prior to a nursing home placement, it just about all goes to the nursing home. The answer actually depends upon the specific facts of your case. Though recently enacted legislation significantly restricts the use of some techniques, other asset protection strategies remain viable, especially for married couples where one spouse requires long-term care. Mr. Gerhard can guide you through the Medicaid application process (for home care under the PDA 60+ Waiver Program or nursing facility care) and enable you to shelter what can be protected under the law. Please visit the "testimonials" page to see what our clients have said about our work. More information...
Pennsylvania Medicaid Statistics, Including the Penalty Divisor
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, there are over 2,400,000 Pennsylvania residents over age 60. More than 240,000 Pennsylvania residents are over age 85. Out of the fifty states, Pennsylvania has the third highest percent of elderly residents. One in five older Pennsylvanians live in or near poverty.
Various "Medicaid Numbers" must be considered in order to properly calculate eligibility for long-term care benefits. The link set forth below is especially popular with financial planners, geriatric care managers, and other attorneys who regularly visit this site in order to stay current with the most recent Medicaid numbers. Click here for the most current figures relating to Pennsylvania Medicaid.
From time to time Robert C. Gerhard, III receives kind letters from past clients expressing appreciation for work performed. With client permission, such notes are posted on the client testimonial portion of this web site. An especially nice letter is set forth below.
"Dear Bob, I would like to take a few moments to thank you for your guidance and support over the past two plus years. Given the tragic accident that my elderly mother experienced, we were thrust into a situation that required immediate attention, which would impact the rest of her life and mine too. The counsel and advice that you shared with me and my family has been truly indispensable. The legal documents that you drew up ... were exceptionally done. The Medicaid application process that you navigated through multiple times given my mother's situation was invaluable. You have helped us to be able to afford the highest quality elder care for my mother while protecting a large amount of her assets through your detailed understanding of the law. As a result, you have allowed my mother and the rest of her family peace of mind to know whe will be taken care of in her facility of choice for the rest of her life. I highly recommend you and your office to anyone that is affected by elder law and please feel free to share this with any of your potential clients. Sincerely, Thomas J." (3/20/07) [Published with client permission] Click here to see what other clients have said about Mr. Gerhard's work.
LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY: The Deficit Reduction Act Impacts Medicaid Eligibility Requirements for Pennsylvania Seniors Facing Long-term Care Crisis
The "Deficit Reduction Act" expanded the Medicaid "look-back" to five years for all gifts, changed the start date for calculating the Medicaid ineligibility period for long-term care, and curtailed the use of some planning techniques. However, many good planning options remain. Some transfers are exempt under the law for public policy reasons. Additionally, the Deficit Reduction Act created certain new planning opportunties. In particular, options exist to help the "community spouse" avoid impoverishment due to their spouse's nursing home costs. Although advance asset protection planning is more important than ever, Mr. Gerhard can help a married couple protect assets even after a nursing home placement. Read more about the Deficit Reduction Act...
The Highest Lawyer Rating, 2013 Peer Review Rated "AV"
Pennsylvania elder law attorney Robert C. Gerhard, III has been recognized by Martindale Hubbell with its highest rating of "AV" for both legal ability and ethical standards. Generations of lawyers have relied on Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review system in order to obtain trusted information concerning members of the legal profession. When making referrals, lawyers need to have confidence in the individual under consideration. By reviewing the ratings, they can select counsel with superior ethics, as well as the desired level of professional experience. Read more...
Asset Protection Planning from Nursing Home Costs
Protecting assets from nursing home costs is on the minds of many people these days, especially in light of the ever-increasing cost of healthcare. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare the average cost of nursing home care on a statewide basis is currently $8,407.17/month. The cost for nursing facility care in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties is even higher than the statewide average, especially when you factor in prescriptions and other ancillary costs.
Whether you are just planning ahead, facing an increasingly difficult time providing care at home, or have determined placement in a nursing facility to be unavoidable, Mr. Gerhard can help. Protecting a lifetime of savings, or at least as much as is legally possible, from nursing home costs does not happen by accident; it takes careful planning.
The facility's business office is unlikely to tell you how to protect your assets from nursing home costs. Nursing homes have a financial incentive to receive private payment as long as possible. In the words of one business office manager, "private pay residents float the boat." Though many honest, good people work in nursing home business offices, they work for the nursing home, not you. Mr. Gerhard works for you, not the nursing home. Federal and state laws prevent nursing homes from providing any less care to Medicaid residents than to their private-pay population.
Mr. Gerhard will identify your objectives, examine the financial picture, provide options to achieve those goals to the extent possible, and help you take action to implement the recommendations in the plan. Mr. Gerhard assists you through the entire process.
"In the News"
"There may be more difficulty getting loved ones into a nursing home if they made gifts," cautioned Robert C. Gerhard III, a Montgomery County attorney who wrote a book on the state's Medical Assistance rules. "It's riskier for seniors to make gifts to kids, even for seemingly acceptable reasons--say to help a child going through divorce or help a child buy a house, or a wedding present. These are things we typically help family members with, but if you do so now and need nursing home care, you may find yourself denied." Robert C. Gerhard, III as quoted in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, "Rules for Nursing Home Aid Tighten" 4/2/07, by Gary Rotstein.
Author of the Elder Law Treatise: Pennsylvania Medicaid, Long-Term Care 2013
Robert C. Gerhard, III wrote the book on Pennsylvania Medicaid long-term care. Updated and published again for 2013, Pennsylvania Medicaid- Long-term Care is now in its Ninth edition. First published in 2004, the text quickly became one of the best-selling works for the George T. Bisel Co, a well-respected publisher of Pennsylvania legal treatises. His second book, the Pennsylvania Medicaid Long-Term Care Lawsource, was released in July 2007 at the Pennsylvania Bar Association's 10th Annual Elder Law Institute. These two works are have become leading resources on the subject of "Pennsylvania Medicaid, Long-Term Care" and are used by elder care professionals across the state. “It took over three years to put the first edition of the treatise together, and I have expanded it each year to make it more comprehensive,” says the author. "The second work, the "Lawsource" is a companion to the first book, providing quick access to selected primary source materials: state and federal laws, regulations, cases, and DPW policy. Mr. Gerhard is one of the Pennsylvania’s leading experts concerning the legal issues of long-term care, and frequently teaches continuing education courses to attorneys. Follow these links to learn more about the law treatise and lawsource and Mr. Gerhard's continuing legal education seminars.