There’s a lot to discuss before sending your college student off to school. Numerous conversations are needed about the necessities of life as well as what the future holds. As we prepared to send our daughters off to college, our conversations included:
- What’s needed for the dorm room?
- Campus safety.
- Our rules for having a car on campus.
- Tips for success.
- Difficulties and challenges of leaving home and living on campus.
One very important conversation to have is what happens if your college student has a medical emergency and isn’t able to communicate? Or what happens when you arrive at the emergency room after an accident only to learn they won’t give you any information because your child is over 18? Unfortunately, this is a conversation that gets missed by many families.
Before your college student leaves, there a few important documents to complete which will help you navigate these nerve-racking situations.
Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) release
HIPPA was created and signed into law on August 21, 1996. HIPPA was designed to address issues such as:
- Health insurance coverage when unemployed
- Fraud and abuse in health insurance
- Privacy and security
To make sure you have access to your child’s health information, it’s important he or she completes the HIPPA release form. This way, when you arrive at the emergency room, the healthcare staff can share treatment information with you. If there’s certain information your college student doesn’t want shared, that can be stipulated on the form.
Medical Power of Attorney
The benefit of this form is that as a parent, you can make informed medical decisions on behalf of your college student if needed. In addition, you can have conversations with the healthcare staff and access your child’s medical records.
Durable Power of Attorney
This form allows parents to manage their child’s finances should he or she become incapacitated. This would allow you to have access to tax returns and bank accounts and give you the ability to pay your student’s bills. If your child is extremely ill and must return home, this can also help with canceling his or her apartment lease agreement.
College is an exciting time for parents and students alike. For students, it’s a step towards being more independent and focusing on a career they love. For parents, it’s another accomplishment that comes with raising children. The last thing anyone wants to think about is a college career ending in illness or tragedy. Should an accident or an illness occur, having these forms completed and easily accessible is key.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.