There’s much more to your child turning 18 than their right to vote or book a hotel room. It’s also a time that creates meaningful changes in a parent’s visibility on health related and privacy concerns.
The most significant changes are on the health-related side. Say your child were to get in a car accident and end up in the hospital while at college. After your child legally becomes an adult at age 18, you no longer have shared access to their medical records without a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release form. As a parent it should be at the top of your list to complete the HIPAA form before your child is off to school should an emergency occur.
Release of info is important, but what about the ability to make medical decisions for your adult child? Once your child turns 18, you’ll need a health care proxy to make medical decisions on their behalf and converse with their health care providers. This is a legal form that is specific to each state, so for both the HIPAA form and health care proxy, contact your health care provider to obtain the form.
Outside of health-related issues, the next biggest change is in regard to privacy rights. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) – is an act that was passed to protect the privacy of student educational records. This means that once your child turns 18, you won’t be able monitor your child’s grades unless they grant you permission. Schools have differing policies for how they grant permission, but typically waivers are available to allow parents visibility into items like final grades.
In summary, completing the HIPAA form and health care proxy should be at the top of your list to complete before dropping off your child at campus this fall. Without them, you could be left without visibility or the capability to make medical decisions for your child.
For any questions relating to your situation, feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help.
All the best,
Andrew Holmes, Certified College Planning Specialist™
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.