Make Sure You Can Be a Parent to Your College-Aged Child in an Emergency
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. 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 Surrogacy that contains a HIPAA Release.
A. HIPAA Release:
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.
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.
B. Durable Power of Attorney:
A Durable Power of Attorney (“POA” for short) enables parents to access and manage their child’s finances. The Durable POA can be useful in many situations. If, for example, you child has a car accident or falls ill, or attends a semester abroad, he or she will be left without the ability to make financial decisions. If bank accounts, a car, a rental agreement, lease or other assets are titled in the name of the student, the POA avoids the expensive and drawn-out court process of having to be appointed guardian by the court for your own child.
The POA can be useful as it allows parents to act on a child’s behalf on all financial matters or set limits for financial circumstances. The POA also helps if your young adult has an overdrawn bank account and isn’t addressing the issue in a responsible manner.
C. Health Care Surrogate Designation:
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.
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. ICE insures 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!
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