Please don’t be offended by the title to this post. I know that of course, you are there for your children. I know that I am, and always will. Despite our intentions, there is a chance the law could prevent you from being there when they need you the most.
Unfortunately, children grow up and become adults – according to the law anyway. You see, reaching the age of 18 means more than many people realize. At 18 your children are magically granted freedoms and rights.
One of those rights is increased privacy. Under federal and state laws, once your child turns 18, you are no longer entitled to access your children’s medical information.
I was reminded of this when speaking with a client this past week. They told me of a time when their child was away at college and ended up in an emergency room. The hospital and doctors were very reluctant to share any information about the child’s condition. Their reluctance was for good reason…it was against the law to share the information without the patient’s consent. Thankfully everything worked out for this family.
Making sure that you have the ability to get information about the medical condition of your young adult children is simple. Your children can sign a HIPAA Authorization naming you as authorized recipients of protected medical information.
Hopefully, you will never need to use this HIPAA Authorization to get your children’s medical information. But the peace of mind and having it if needed is priceless. Despite becoming adults and striking out on their own, our children will always need us.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make sure that your children’s medical information isn’t out of your reach when needs, and how this fits into a comprehensive estate plan please contact us.