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Did you know that anyone over the age of 18 is protected by the HIPAA law?
What does that mean?
If someone has a medical issue and is incapacitated in some way, and cannot give their consent, their medical information cannot be released to anyone that has not been given written authorization. HIPAA is an acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
Let’s take this example:
Your child is away at college. You receive a phone call from a hospital, informing you that your child has been admitted to the ER and is unconscious. You were listed as the emergency contact. When you ask about the condition of your adult child, you are told that information cannot be released unless you have a signed HIPAA form, naming you as someone to whom medical information can be released. You do not and are distraught over not being able to find out what is wrong and how serious it might be.
Another example: Your sibling has been injured and is unconscious in the hospital. A friend calls to let you know. Your sibling is single, with no children. You go to the hospital to find out what is going on and be there to help make decisions for your sibling. The hospital informs you that they cannot release any details of your siblings condition without a signed HIPAA form authorizing you as the point of contact.
In times like these scenarios, the only thing that will ensure that someone can be informed regarding medical information is to have a completed, signed HIPAA form to provide to medical personnel.
We recommend that every person over the age of 18 complete a HIPAA form, sign it, have it witnessed or notarized, and store it in a safe place, or in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). Notify those people that you have authorized them to receive your information. We also recommend that you provide them with a copy, or share the link to the file in the cloud. THE NEED FOR THIS FORM TO BE COMPLETED INCLUDES SPOUSES. Under HIPAA, even a spouse cannot be provided with medical information without the written permission of the patient.
Click the link here to download the standard HIPAA form.
HIPAA Release Form
☞ I highly recommend that you also complete additional documents to protect your assets, assign authority when someone is needed to assist you, and express your desire for how you want your medical decisions to be made.
For more information on this, visit MoneyMasteryPlanning.com.
Although we all hope that we are never faced with the need for a Life Directive, or a Medical (or any kind of) Power of Attorney, it is best to be prepared, and prepare your loved ones with the authority and direction for how you want things handled. As for a final will, EVERYONE will need one, one day.
The Netlaw package of documents are state specific, so you can rest assured that they will accurate and complete.