Sending your child off to college is nerve-wracking enough in normal circumstances. Unfortunately, these are not normal circumstances. In addition to worrying about your child’s eating, sleeping, and studying habits, now you have to worry about your son or daughter’s health and safety! This is especially true if your child is leaving home for a different city this fall.
While there is little you can do to combat the virus (aside from the current containment strategies), you can make sure you are prepared if your son or daughter has a medical emergency while in college.
We can help you prepare for emergencies with our College Protection Plan, which includes:
- The documents you need 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
Your eighteen-year-old probably hasn’t changed much since last year. Your daughter may still roll her eyes at you. Your son probably still goofs off with his friends. But once your child turns eighteen, he or she is an adult in the eyes of the law. Everything may feel the same, but all the rules have changed.
One of the rules that changes at eighteen is the healthcare privacy law known as HIPAA. HIPAA prevents health care workers from sharing patients’ private health care information with third parties. While this is usually a good thing, it can be disastrous if your child is hospitalized while away from home. In that situation HIPAA prevents doctors from sharing information with you about your child.
It makes no difference that you are still paying the bills; once your child turns eighteen, it is illegal for a doctor to discuss your child’s medical condition with you—even during a life-threatening emergency.
Similarly, a Federal law known as FERPA prevents universities from sharing student records with anyone other than the student. Not only would you be unable to talk to your child’s doctors, you also wouldn’t be able to access your child’s financial or academic records from the university—even if you are the one paying the tuition bills!
Fortunately, these outcomes can be avoided. With the right documents in place, you can access your child’s healthcare information, help make healthcare decisions for your child (if she is unable to do so for herself), and handle business and financial affairs for your child. Our College Protection Plan includes the documents you need to handle a medical emergency: a HIPAA Authorization, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and a FERPA authorization.
Access to those Documents
Once your child fills out the documents, it is very important that doctors are able to access the documents during an emergency so that they know they are allowed to discuss your child’s medical condition with you. That is why our College Protection Plan includes a membership with DocuBank called DocuBank ICE. This important service ensures that the hospital can immediately get a copy of your child’s healthcare documents. DocuBank issues a wallet-size card that provides healthcare providers with quick reference to your child’s documents. With DocuBank, these important documents will be quickly accessible to hospital staff in an emergency—24/7/365.
Alert to You
DocuBank ICE includes an alert when your child’s card is used to retrieve his or her emergency information. The alert contains the phone number of the facility requesting the information so that 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.
To find out more about our College Protection Plan or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 910-509-7287. 2020 has been anxious enough. Let us give you one less thing to worry about this fall!