When your child is preparing to go off to college, it’s important that they take with them certain personal records. If any legal issues come up at college, your student would be well-advised to contact a reputable lawyer for support and assistance. While it would be tremendously unfortunate, it’s also possible that your child could be involved in some kind of accident while in college that calls for medical attention. In that case, he/she will need to have some medical records on hand in order for things to proceed smoothly. Here are some of the most important documents your child should have on hand as they head off to college and prepare for life on their own.
Social Security Card
This is a document that people don’t often use. However, it could be important if your child student starts a new job while at college. It’s easy enough to order a new card through the Social Security Administration website, so be sure that your student has their card on hand, and that they keep it in a safe place in case they need it.
In addition to a student ID, your child will probably need some kind of solid photo ID as well. If they don’t yet have a driver’s license, a passport is an excellent backup document to have on hand. It will also be useful if your child intends to leave the country and study abroad at some point. If your child doesn’t already have a passport, it’s a good idea to apply for one before they head back to school.
It’s a good idea for your student to have his/her medical records on hand in the event that any kind of medical attention becomes necessary while at college. This way the local medical personnel will have access to all information necessary so they can treat your child. It’s even more important if your child has a medical condition that requires treatment or medication. Make sure to have any required medical forms filled out when your child arrives on campus.
Health Insurance Card
Your child may require some kind of medical care while at school. In this event, they will need their medical insurance card so they can present it to the campus caregivers. Make sure the card is current, and that the school (or at least the medical personnel on campus) accepts the type of insurance. You should also check out prescription prices at school if your child requires any medications. It may be cheaper for you to purchase those prescriptions locally, and have them forwarded to your child at school, rather than to buy them on campus.
HIPAA Release Forms
This may be the single most important document that your child takes with them to college. This form identifies exactly what kind of medical information should be released to you by a doctor treating your child. Any doctor who treats your child cannot legally talk to you without having this release form filled out ahead of time. This form varies from state to state, so make sure that your child has a release form for the state they reside in, and for the state they attend school in, if the two happen to be different. The reason this document is so important is because up until the age of eighteen, your child didn’t really control their medical care. Now, all that changes. In order for you to be kept in the loop about any medical care your child receives while at school, this release form must be filled out.
A medical proxy form is much different than a HIPAA release form. The HIPAA form only concerns keeping you in the loop with the student’s doctor and other medical professionals. A medical proxy gives you permission to act on their behalf in the same way that you did when they were underage and still residing at home. This document becomes extremely important if your child should happen to be in a position where they are unable to speak for themselves. It’s a good idea to fill out an extra form in the city where your student attends school, and to keep an additional copy at home. The form allows for an alternate proxy, so your spouse can serve as a stand-in if it turns out you are unable to make decisions about your child’s healthcare.
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