If you have a child who is away at college, you should be aware that the federal medical privacy rules apply to him or her. Once your child turns 18, the federal HIPAA law says that you can no longer have access your child’s medical information without his or her consent.
That’s a problem, because if there’s an emergency and your child isn’t able to provide consent, you might not be able to access the information you need to make important medical decisions. In fact, it might not even be clear that you have the legal right to make such decisions.
It only takes a few minutes for your child to sign a HIPAA release form and a form saying that you can act as a health care agent. It’s easy to do, and it could be very important in an emergency.