Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Your health and well-being is arguably more important than your financial security. Florida laws allow a resident to designate a health care surrogate, which ensure that person's right to make a health care decision is not lost due to physical or mental incapacity.
A Health Care Surrogate (HCS) is a person that you appoint to make health care decisions if you are unable to do so. The HCS is usually someone that you trust, but laws allow you to appoint just about any mentally competent adult.
As is true with your entire Life Plan, communication is key. It is vital to communicate with and inform the surrogate of your wishes. Such as whether or not you want life support or a feeding tube.
The Designation of Health Care Surrogate is different from a Living Will. The Living Will is only applicable in specific, limited situations. However, the Health Care Surrogate is applicable anytime you are lacking the capacity to make an informed decision.
"There is nothing more important than our good health - that is our capital asset."
- Arlen Specter
HIPAA Release Form
To fully utilize the Designation of Health Care Surrogate, your Life Planning attorney will include a HIPAA Release Form. This form allows the surrogate access to your medical records and to speak with health care providers to make an informed decision.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is federal law that prevents a spouse or family member from speaking with providers. It is not difficult to see why this is imperative in every Life Plan.