Get These Medical Forms Before Your Kids Return to College

As students return to college campuses, many families are worried about the lingering threat of the coronavirus. As schools take steps to keep people healthy, families should take extra precautions. If your child is sick and hospitalized in critical condition, it can be difficult to get the latest information about their medical condition. Here’s why: Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA , you may not have access to your child’s medical status when they turn 18.

Fortunately, there are authorization forms that can prevent this problem – and while you prepare these documents in order, there are a few other medical forms to consider. Here are some forms to get before your child goes back to college.

HIPAA and FERPA approvals

Your child can sign a HIPAA authorization to give you access to medical records. According to Money , your child may still maintain the confidentiality of certain parts of their medical records, such as their mental or sexual health.

One more thing: Medical records on campus are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), so you may also need a second form of authorization. You can learn more about the FERPA form and how it can affect the coronavirus records from this Ministry of Education document .

Provisional health directives

When collecting approval forms, you should also consider getting advance directives about your child’s health care. The two most common advance directives are probate and medical power of attorney. The will may include your child’s end-of-life care preferences. A health care power of attorney can allow you to make health care decisions on behalf of your child if the child has been disabled.

You can download your state’s advance directive form here, or use an app like MyDirectives , which can also be used to store other important medical records. If you have specific questions, you should seek advice from your local estate planning attorney.

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