When your student turns 18, they start to be able to decide who can see their grades, medical records, and other private information.
This means that not even parents will be able to get these things without filling out the right forms.
Even if your child is on your health insurance plan, you might not be able to make medical decisions for them if they get into an accident and end up in the hospital.
Before your child goes to college, here are the main things they need to have with them in case of an emergency:
Release forms for HIPAA
In some ways, the most important form for your student to fill out is the HIPAA release form.
It’s the one where they decide what your doctors can tell you about your health.
Without it, the doctor who is seeing your teen can’t talk to you.
You should make sure that any doctor your child sees often has a copy on file. Each state needs its own, so if they’re going to school out of state, they’ll need one for the state where they live and another for the state where you live.
The HIPAA release is important because your student hasn’t been in charge of their own health care for the past 18 years. Now, they are.
As a parent, you may have talked to doctors, counselors, insurance companies, etc. about your child in private, with or without them there.
So, they might not remember everything about the medical care they’ve had.
Also, if they are still covered by your insurance, you may have to handle any medical claim disputes with your insurance company.
Note: You should have copies of all of these forms and papers on both your phone and theirs.
If there is a liquid spill, it is easy for documents to become unreadable. It also lets you quickly text or email the form to the doctor or student if they can’t find it.
Card for Health Insurance
Your student should carry their health insurance card with them in case they need medical care. Make sure the card is still valid and that the insurance is accepted in the area where your child goes to school.
Compare the prices of the regular prescriptions your son or daughter takes. Try the health center on campus, a nearby pharmacy, or a mail-order service.
You, your student, and the campus medical center should all have your student’s medical records on hand (if your student gives you permission).
So, they’ll know if your student is allergic to any medicines and if they have any other health problems.
If your child has a medical condition that needs to be treated or taken on a regular basis, make sure you have a plan in place before they go to school.
Also, make sure to fill out any medical forms that the school needs before the school year starts. This could include records of any required physicals or shots.
Your child will need a photo ID in addition to their student ID.
If they don’t have a driver’s license, a passport is a good ID that can be used almost anywhere.
It’s also a good thing to have if they want to travel outside the U.S.
They can apply for a passport at any time if they don’t already have one.
They will have to show their birth certificate and other forms of ID, such as a school yearbook.
Click here to find out what kind of ID you need to apply for a passport for the first time.
Card for Social Security
It’s a document we don’t use very often, but it’s important if your student gets a job.
Make sure they have their card or have ordered a new one through the Social Security Administration website before they go back to school. Make sure your child has a safe place to keep their card while they are at school so they don’t lose it.
Advance Health Care Directive, Medical Proxy, or Health Care Proxy
A HIPAA release form is nothing like a medical proxy form, or either of the other two names for it.
The only reason for the HIPAA release form is so that you can talk to the student’s doctors and other medical professionals.
With a medical proxy, you can take care of them in the same way you did when they lived with you.
This is a very important form to fill out if your son or daughter can’t speak for themselves for any reason.
Since this form is a bit more serious than the HIPAA form, it may need two witnesses to confirm that the student is of sound mind when they give you the power to make medical decisions on their behalf.
You should also fill out one form in the city where your student goes to school and keep a copy at home.
Since the form has a spot for a “secondary proxy,” a second parent or close relative can fill in for you if you can’t make decisions.
FERPA Waiver for College Students
Up until now, it’s been pretty easy for you as a parent to be as involved as possible in your child’s education, including having access to all of his or her school records.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) says that all of this changes once your child is 18 years old (or enters college).
Once that happens, all rights related to education are given to the student. This includes information about their GPA, academic transcript, academic warning, academic probation, or discipline record.
This means you can’t call a teacher or the head of a department to ask about your child’s grades, attendance, or performance in class as a whole.
FERPA protects college students’ education records so that only the college and the student know what they are. It also makes sure that a student’s financial records are kept private.
The documents that the financial aid office makes and keeps are considered education records and cannot be shared without the student’s permission.
This includes (at a minimum) information about your student’s eligibility for and receipt of federal student aid funds, financial aid applications, federal work-study payroll records, your student’s account balance, and information about their financial aid history.
All colleges and universities have FERPA release authorizations that allow the school to share certain information about a student’s financial aid records when the student signs them.
Remember that your student can now decide whether or not to let you see these records. They are not required to do so. Some schools may not tell your child directly about FERPA and the forms that need to be filled out for you to get access to their account information.
So, FERPA rules, even if you pay the bills.
When your student goes to college, you will want to be sure that they are mature enough to handle many parts of their lives in a responsible way.
Some of this won’t be in your control, but some of it will be. Before they go to school, it’s important to talk to them about all of these things, so that if emergencies happen, everyone will be ready and there won’t be any surprises.