3 Tips For Making Your College-Aged Child's First Solo Doctors Office Visit Easier

23 June 2022
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


How can you help your college-aged child for their first solo doctor's office visit with their new primary care physician (PCP)? Take a look at the simple steps that can make your young adult child's appointment easier and more productive.  

Review Insurance Information

The Affordable Care Act now allows adult children to stay on their parents' insurance plan until they are 26 years old, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This means your college-aged child may still have the same insurance they had before they became a legal adult. If your child is still on your plan, make sure they have their own card with their name on it. Most PCP offices require new patients to provide proof of insurance for billing purposes.

Some college-aged children may have their own insurance that they purchase through the marketplace or from an employer. If your child has their own individual or employer-sponsored insurance plan, you may need to help them review their policy. They should verify that their PCP is an in-network provider and learn more about doctor's office visit copays and their deductible. 

Discuss Medical Record and Information Access

Now that your child is over 18, you won't have direct access to their medical records. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects this information. Some parents may want the ability to contact the doctor or discuss medical information with the PCP and their staff. If you want or need to play a role in your young adult's healthcare, discuss the options with your child. Your child will need to sign a consent form for this type of access. 

Some college-aged children will not want their parents to have access to their medical records or other health-related information. It's important to respect your child's privacy and their growing sense of independence. If they do not want to give you this type of permission, let your child know that you are still there for them and are ready to answer questions if they should ask. 

Transfer Medical Records

Even though your child's pediatrician has records that pre-date your child's 18th birthday, now that they're a young adult, you can't access this information. Again, your child will need to grant you permission (via a consent form) for you to take or transfer their old pediatrician's records to their new PCP. 

If your child doesn't want to give you consent or you want them to handle this step, they will need to contact their former pediatrician's office. Encourage your child to talk to their new doctor first. The new PCP's office can explain what records they will need and may provide additional information on the easiest ways to transfer them.