Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
When you are planning your estate it is essential to resolve all of the matters that pertain to people who are entering their golden years. While it is real that the financial aspects of estate planning are very important, the health care part is crucial as well, and since individuals here in American are living longer than ever it is logical to be prepared to live into our late eighties and beyond.
With this in mind, incapacity planning is something that has become part of the detailed estate plan of our period.
One of the matters that you need to resolve when you are planning for possible incapacitation involves decision making. If a medical choice requires to be made and you are unable to do so, who will act in your behalf? You can take the uncertainty out of it by selecting an agent to represent you by performing a resilient medical power of attorney and this individual will then be empowered to make those decisions.
There is one caution to the above, and it has been caused by the passing of the Health Insurance Coverage Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. A part of this act is in place to ensure the privacy of patient records that are kept by insurer and healthcare service providers. Health centers and medical centers analyze this serve as they see fit and develop standards that their health care companies should follow. There are some health centers that do not permit doctors to speak to the agent that you selected about the details of your case due to concerns about breaking arrangements set for in the HIPAA.
The way to address this possibility is to include a HIPAA release in your estate plan. This can be a document in and of itself, or it can be added into your long lasting medical power of attorney. It is also rewarding to mention the reality that you can include individuals aside from your designated health care representative to the HIPAA release if you so choose. If you do so, extra member of the family will be able to interact with health care companies about your condition without breaching hospital HIPAA rules.