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How to Help Your College-Aged Child in a Medical Emergency

You have finished unpacking your child and setting up their college dorm room. You kiss them goodbye as they start off on the next big stage of their life. While your "baby" is now a grown up, many parents still pay for many expenses such as health insurance premiums.  If you wanted to pay a bill, imagine the confusion and frustration when the person on the other end of the phone would not even talk to you about your child’s medical bill, let alone allow you to pay it. 

Many parents are blissfully unaware of what legally happens in the medical world when their child turns 18. To put it simply, once your child turns 18, your child is legally a stranger to you. You, as your child’s parent, have no more legal right to your legal-aged son or daughter’s medical information than you would to any other stranger’s medical information. This is due, in part, to federal legislation that was put in place many years ago known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA for short.

HIPAA was a set of laws designed to, among other things, protect the confidentiality of our health information. HIPAA laws require medical professionals to get authorization from the patient before they can disclose any health information about that patient to anyone. If a person is under the age of 18, then that minor’s guardian can give authorization. But if a person is over 18, they are now considered an adult and only he or she can give authorization as to who can access their medical information.

For those who have children 18 or older, it’s important that you are prepared. Your legal-aged son or daughter needs to sign a health care power of attorney that includes a HIPAA release. The HIPPA release gives medical professionals the authority to talk to you about your child’s medical situation so you can make informed decisions. The health care power of attorney allows you to make medical decisions on your children’s behalf if they are seriously injured.

Your child’s years shortly after they turn 18 can be some of the most exciting years of his or her life. But it is important to be prepared for a medical emergency.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (215) 809-3900or by clicking here.

Located in Merion Station, PA, Sallen Law assists clients with estate planning matters throughout the Philadelphia Main Line area including but not limited to Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County. Attorney Sallen is also licensed to practice in the state of NJ and serves Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County.

Located in Merion Station, PA, Sallen Law assists clients with estate planning matters throughout the Philadelphia Main Line area including but not limited to Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County. Attorney Sallen is also licensed to practice in the state of NJ and serves Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (215) 809-3900 or by clicking here.

Located in Merion Station, PA, Sallen Law assists clients with estate planning matters throughout the Philadelphia Main Line area including but not limited to Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County. Attorney Sallen is also licensed to practice in the state of NJ and serves Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County.