Privacy laws provide discretion, but they can also prevent people from seeing crucial information when they need it. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA severely restricts access to your health care information.
This can cause problems in emergency situations because doctors may not be able to discuss your needs with loved ones. It also poses problems for young adults still covered under a parent’s insurance plan. That is why Casey Lundregan Burns prepares HIPAA releases as part of comprehensive estate plans.
What a HIPAA Release Does
A properly-executed HIPAA authorization document allows medical professionals and insurance companies to share a patient’s information with the individual named in the document. You can authorize anyone necessary to have access to your medical information, including your partner, family members, or your health care agent.
Who Should Have a HIPAA Release?
Although a spouse may have automatic access to medical information in an emergency, other family members do not. If you have a long-term partner but are not legally married, your partner will be unable to discuss your condition with doctors if you are in an accident. Your parents or siblings will not be able to learn about your treatment or help with insurance. While a HIPAA authorization is a good document for any adult to have, they can be especially helpful for:
- Partners who are in a committed relationship but not married
- Young adults still covered under a parent’s insurance plan
- College students
- Those who want to authorize a specific friend or family member to receive sensitive medical information
In addition, if you executed a healthcare proxy and named someone not related to you as your agent, it is a good idea to execute a HIPAA authorization to ensure your agent has access to the information they need.
A HIPAA Release Works Best in Conjunction with Other Health Care Estate Planning Documents
At Casey Lundregan Burns, a HIPAA release is just one of the documents we recommend having in your estate plan to protect your health care needs. With over 80 years of experience helping families prepare for the unexpected, we know that the best plans are made up of many components that work together.
To help ensure that you receive the treatment you want without uncertainty or delays, it is a good idea to execute a health care proxy, also called a medical power of attorney. With this document, you designate an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions. In addition, it is also a good idea to create a living will that explains the type of medical treatment you would want in particular situations. These two documents are often referred to as advance directives.
When you have a legal valid power of attorney and a HIPAA release, you can save precious time in an emergency situation, and ease the burden on loved ones.
Casey Lundregan Burns Can Create the Right Plan to Meet Your Healthcare Needs
In the decades we’ve been developing estate plans, we have been able to help clients with an increasing range of documents to protect more interests than ever before. When you prepare in advance to meet health care needs, whether through advance directives or long-term care planning, you make things much easier for both yourself and your family.
Reach out today to find out how we can help ensure that you’re fully prepared.