Get Health Information on a Family Member
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) sets strict privacy rules, which can make it difficult to get medical information about elderly parents, special-needs children or any child over age 18.
Solution: Family members need to sign a HIPAA form titled “Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information.” They can usually fill out this form at the doctor’s office or hospital when they receive care, or they can sign a blanket form ahead of time and you can carry it with you to medical appointments. For more information, see www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy.
This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.