If you are a parent, you know what a proud moment it is when your child goes away to college. You have spent their entire life getting them ready to test their wings and get out on their own. That’s not to mention the time you have spent helping them choose a school and complete all the paperwork that is involved. As a parent, you want them to have the best college experience possible.
In our practice, we see a recurring problem that can be easily avoided. A common scenario involves a child that becomes ill while at school and asks their parent for help. They are still on their parent’s health insurance plan and are still being financially supported. However, because the child is over 18 years old, the concerned parent has no way to access their medical records should the need arise. This problem produces stress for both parent and child, not to mention additional time and money spent to rectify the situation.
There is a very quick and easy way to avoid this frustrating scenario. There are two important documents that, when in place, will enable you to access your child’s records. Those documents are a Power of Attorney and a HIPAA Authorization. If the child is emancipated, it is also a good idea to include an Advanced Health Care Directive.
These documents will enable you as the parent to act on your child’s behalf when necessary. The HIPAA document authorizes the release of your child’s confidential health information.
It is important to mention that you may be tempted to find these documents online and do them yourself to save money. We recommend that you don’t do this. Each situation is unique, and you will likely have questions about these documents. To ensure the best result, it is highly recommended that you use legal counsel. The entire process is quite quick and affordable. We will take the time to answer any questions that you have and make sure that each document is right for you and your child.
Sending your child off to school in the best, most prepared way is worth every penny. You just can’t put a price on peace of mind.