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Graduation Article

Protecting Graduates: Advanced Directives and Healthcare Changes

As graduation season approaches, many young adults are embracing a time of celebration, reflection, and anticipation for the future. Amidst the excitement of embarking on a new journey, whether it’s entering the workforce or pursuing higher education, there’s one crucial aspect that often gets overlooked – Advanced Directives. May 21, 2024

You may be wondering, what exactly are advanced directives, and why are they important for recent graduates and young adults?

Advanced Directives typically include the following legal documents:

  • Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • Healthcare Power of Attorney

  • Living Will

These documents are designed to outline your healthcare preferences and designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to communicate.

While this may seem like a topic better suited for later stages in life, the reality is that accidents and unexpected medical emergencies can happen to anyone, regardless of age. For young adults relocating due to education or a new job opportunity, having Advance Directives in place becomes even more critical. Distance can make it challenging for parents or appointed persons to intervene in the event of a medical crisis, and without these documents, medical treatment may fall into the hands of healthcare providers who may not be familiar with the individuals wishes.

Recent Changes in Healthcare

Furthermore, recent changes in the healthcare industry (particularly regarding HIPAA laws) have made it especially imperative for young adults to have Advanced Directives established. United States laws state once an individual reaches the age of 18, they are considered legal adults, and their parents are no longer entitled to access their medical information without authorization. This means that even in emergencies, loved ones may face obstacles in obtaining details about the individual’s condition. Advanced Directives provide a solution by granting parents or trusted individuals the authority to access and make informed decisions about medical care.

Making an Impact Beyond Graduation

Many graduates may feel a deep sense of gratitude towards their Educational Institutions, recognizing the pivotal role these institutions have played in shaping their lives. If you are considering ways to give back to your old college or support your child’s new college, charitable giving can make a meaningful impact.