Have adult children? Take steps to avoid medical access denial

Imagine your college-aged daughter has an accident while away at school and ends up in the emergency room. When you call the hospital, you are denied information about her care because you do not have the proper forms signed. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you do not have legal access to your child’s health information after they reach age 18, even if your child is still your dependent and their health insurance coverage is in your name. To avoid this administrative nightmare, take the following steps.

1. Make sure your health insurance coverage will cover your child at his or her new campus home.

2. Have your son or daughter sign a HIPAA authorization form allowing you access to their medical information.

3. Create a multipurpose medical power of attorney authorization, which will not only give you authorization to help make medical decisions, it can also include an advance directive or living will.

4. Scan two copies of these documents – one for you and one for your child – and keep them in a secure place along with a copy of your student’s insurance card.

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