Medical Access Denial: What Every College Student's Parents Should Know

rushed to emergency room

Imagine your college-aged daughter has an accident while away at school and ends up in the emergency room. When you call the hospital, you are denied information about her care because you do not have the proper forms signed.

HIPAA Not so Hip

Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you no longer have legal access to your child's health information after they reach age 18. This is the case even if they are still your dependent and their health insurance coverage is in your name. You would not have access to your child's billing records nor would you be able to consult with medical professionals regarding your child's health.

To avoid this administrative nightmare, make sure you take these steps.

1. Health Insurance Coverage.

Before your child leaves for school, make sure your health insurance will cover your child at his or her new campus home. You may need to inform your insurance company, especially if your child is going out of state for school.

2. Signed HIPAA Authorization

Have your son or daughter sign a HIPAA authorization form allowing you access to their medical information.

3. Medical Power of Attorney

Create a multipurpose medical power of attorney authorization. The medical power of attorney will not only give you authorization to help make medical decisions, it can also include an advance directive or living will. Each state has different requirements so you will need to ensure the correct forms are used.

4. Durable Power of Attorney

This added legal step authorizes a parent or other agent to make decisions on the student's behalf. It can be helpful if your student plans on studying abroad or if you will want access to the student's accounts for possible billing information.

Scan two copies of these documents — one for you and one for your child — and keep them in a secure place along with a copy of your student's insurance card.


The information in this article is written as accurately as possible and to best of the writer's knowledge. However, there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes. Because of this and changes in circumstances, the information in this article is subject to change. This article is for informational purposes only and should not serve as professional, financial, medical, emotional, and/or legal advice. Readers may rely on the information on this article at their own risk, but they should consult a CPA, financial expert, or other professional for advice. Givilancz & Martinez, PLLC reserves the right to change and handle this article series, and therefore, may remove or alter any part of this article or the comments section. Any comments inserted by readers are not the responsibility of G&M PLLC and do not represent the thoughts or ideas of G&M PLLC.