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  • Writer's pictureGinger Coberley

Turning 18: Access Denied

Having your kids go off to college involves even more than you might think, especially for parents! When your student turns 18, he or she is an adult, as far as the law is concerned. That means, even as a parent, you might be denied access to information about your own child. And the information you can’t get could involve a life or death situation.

Have you heard of the HIPAA law? Its main purpose is to assure that the health information of individuals is properly protected while still allowing the flow of health information that is needed to provide high quality health care and protect the public’s health and well-being. It is sometimes a very bothersome concept with which to have to deal, and it is the law. We have no choice.

So, when your students, who are now adults, go off to college, it might be impossible for you, even as a parent, to get any information about them from the powers-that-be on campus. If your son or daughter has the misfortune of being in an accident, has some sort of medical malady or just gets sick, you won’t be able to call in to get information. And, consequently, you won’t be able to make any decisions or give directions on your child’s behalf.

As Liz Skinner reported in the August 9, 2017, issue of “Investment News”, parents need to obtain a HIPAA release, a medical power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for each child age 18 or older.

The HIPPA form will allow you to get information. The medical power of attorney will allow you to make health-care decisions in the event your child cannot do it and the general power of attorney will allow you access to information and to sign for your son or daughter if he or she is not able to do so.

Although it seems quite inconvenient to go to the trouble of doing these things, it is really an insignificant task if something happens and you need to take action either for or about your child.

Provided by: Core Financial, Karen Ketcham, for more information go to

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