Make Sure You Can Be a Parent to Your College-Aged Child in an Emergency
August 3rd, 2021
Preparing to send your son or daughter to college is one of the most exciting, and nerve-wrecking times for a parent!
You’ll worry whether they will eat properly, study enough, and get enough sleep. While we can’t help with these everyday concerns, our College Protection Plan can help with one of the big ones: making sure you are prepared if your son or daughter has a medical emergency while away at school.
Our College Protection Plan includes:
- The documents your family needs now that your child is an adult.
- Easy access to those documents so doctors have that information instantly.
- An alert to you when that information is accessed so you know right away.
1. The Documents:
The rules change completely once your child turns 18. They may still be financially dependent on you, but they’re an adult in the eyes of the law. Being a legal adult grants them all sorts of new rights: they can now vote, open a bank account, and serve on a jury.
One of the laws that now affects your child is called HIPAA. This is a federal law that protects the privacy of patients. While that’s usually a good thing, it could be disastrous for you and your family if your child is hospitalized while at school. That’s because in this situation, “protecting” your child’s privacy actually means preventing their doctor from sharing information with you.
Yes, you read that correctly. Once your child turns 18, it is illegal for a doctor to discuss their medical conditions with you—even during a life-threatening emergency. Even if you’re still paying the bills.
You may have read about this issue in Forbes Magazine a few years ago in an article titled, Two Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign. The two documents are a Durable Power of Attorney and a Health Care Proxy that contains a HIPAA Release.
These important documents will ensure that if your child is hospitalized, you will not be left out in the dark. Your child’s doctor will be able to talk with you and you’ll be able to make decisions on what type of treatment should be provided. These documents are included in our College Protection Plan, so you can be prepared in case something happens to your child at college.
2. Access to those Documents:
Once your child fills out these documents, it’s very important that their doctors are able to access them during an emergency so they know they are allowed to talk to you. That’s why our College Protection Plan includes a membership in DocuBank ICE. This important service ensures that the hospital can immediately get a copy of their Health Care Proxy and HIPAA Release, so you can rest easier knowing that these important documents will be quickly accessible to hospital staff in an emergency – 24/7/365.
3. Alert to you:
DocuBank ICE includes an alert when your child’s card is used to retrieve their emergency information. The alert contains the phone number of the facility requesting the information so you can immediately call to follow up. And, since the hospital will have the HIPAA release form before you call, there should be no obstacle to you receiving the information you need.
Let us give you one less thing to worry about this fall!
To find out more about Powers of Attorney, HIPAA, DocuBank, or to schedule an appointment to discuss setting up your College Protection Plan, contact us today!