If you are preparing to ship your new college student off to campus in the fall, it can be challenging to help him or her in a medical emergency if you don’t have the right estate planning tools to do so.
Many adult parents are still paying for services like car insurance premiums and health insurance when their younger children go off to college, but the adult child turning 18 can present numerous problems. For example, if you attempted to call the doctor’s office near campus to pay your son or daughter’s medical bill, they might not even speak to you, let alone pay it.
Many parents are unfortunately unaware of what happens in the medical world when their child turns 18 and without the proper estate planning documents they may be very confused and frustrated. As a child’s parents, you have no more legal right to your son or daughter’s medical information than you would to a stranger’s. This is partly due to the fact that federal legislation in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 put into place. HIPAA was designed to protect confidentiality of any person’s health information.
When your child turns 18, he or she is legally classified as an adult. In the event of a medical emergency though, this can present serious problems. Having a HIPAA release can be very beneficial for planning purposes. You may also wish to talk to your son or daughter about having a financial or healthcare power of attorney to help protect them in the event that something goes amiss. Contact a New Jersey estate planning attorney today to learn more.