Did you know that when your child turns 18, you are no longer his/her legal medical representative? That is correct. Even though your child may be on your insurance, unless important legal documents are signed by your child you will NOT be provided critical medical information should your child suffer an injury or accident while away at college. These documents include a Power of Attorney and a Living Will.
Why Your College Aged Kids Need a Living Will & Power Of Attorney
There is a federal law known as HIPPA that protects patient information. This law prevents doctors, hospitals, and nurses, from disclosing any medical information to anyone, unless the patient (in this case your child) has specifically waived the protection and identified you – the parent – as the authorized representative.
When parents send their children off to college, it’s a bitter-sweet time. Parents are simultaneously proud, but concerned about their children’s health, safety and well-being. As parents you worry. That is perfectly normal. But most people are trained to push negative thoughts out of their head and to focus on the positive. However, failing to properly plan for a medical emergency could seriously impact your ability to obtain critical medical information about your child. It will also limit your ability to have any input into his or her medical care.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
If your child is 18 and preparing to head off to college, make sure you have the correct legal documentation in place. If you plan properly, you can be made aware of critical medical information and have input into your child’s medical care in the event of an emergency.