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• HIPAA & Other Medical Forms •

It just may be your worst nightmare: Your college kid is away at school and gets injured or becomes seriously ill. They’re transported to the hospital and being treated. Naturally, you’ll want to know what happened and may need to speak directly to the healthcare provider. You may want to help your student make important medical decisions or do it for them if they are not able.

Listen up: Unless your student has signed a HIPAA form, authorizing disclosure of this information to you, healthcare providers are prohibited by law from providing you with any health information about your adult child.

What’s HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that sets rules for health care providers and health plans about who can look at and receive your health information, including family members and friends. You know those forms every health care provider makes us sign when we receive any type of medical care? The one that typically allows the doctor to release information to our health insurer? That is a HIPAA form.

In the event that your college student is unable to provide authorization at the time they are being treated, it is a good idea for you to have a signed authorization on hand that you can send to the healthcare provider, allowing them to provide you with health information about your child.

Forms are available online. Have your student sign one today! (Parents of college athletes, please don’t delay!)

For more information on HIPAA, see

While you’re at it, here are some other important forms you may also want to consider having your student sign:

Durable Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney. These forms authorize you to make medical and financial decisions in the event your college student becomes incapacitated. The requirements for these forms may differ from state to state, so it is a good idea to check the laws of your home state and the state where your student is attending college to make sure your student signs the correct forms. One website that provides forms and information by state is Caring Connections.


Want to know more?

Three Documents Every College Student Needs by Rania Combs

Parents of Rising College Freshman: Complete Two Important Medical Forms for Your Student by Steve Sterling



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