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Be Prepared! Pack A Ready-To-Go Package For Potential Hospital Stays

Make Your Own Healthcare Go Package!

There has been a lot of talk about estate planning and the increased need for documents such as a Healthcare Power of Attorney during the Covid-19 crisis. Less than half of all Americans have done their estate planning. But you are one of them! You’ve done your estate plan and you feel prepared, now what?

First the persons nominated in your documents to serve on your behalf need to know about the documents and where to find them. Having a plan doesn’t do much good if no one knows about and cannot access it. If you are too ill to tell anyone about the plan, they can’t use your planning to protect you.
This is an easy problem to fix. You can put together a “go package” of your essential documents. This package should be easily accessible. In other words, don’t lock it in your safe or put it in your safety deposit box.

The “Hospital Go” package should have the following:
• Driver’s license (if your address is not updated you’ll need to have it stated elsewhere in your package);
• Social Security card or have the number documented somewhere in the package;
• Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will;
• Pictures of your current prescription labels, or a list of your medications and any supplements you take;
• A list of your treating physicians with contact information;
• A list of any medication allergies;
• A list of who you want to be able to contact you while you are in the hospital along with their contact information;
• Key medical history such as chronic conditions, prior surgeries and medical devices you have; 
• A copy of your health insurance cards such as your Medicare card, any Medicare Supplemental insurance, and Part D prescription coverage; 
• If you have Long-Term care insurance a copy of the policy or at least the policy number and company contact information; and
• Your cell phone including an extra-long charging cord (My husband and I learned during his last hospital stay the outlet was far from his hospital bed and so without a long cord the phone was out of his reach).

Where should you keep this?
It depends on your preference. It could be kept in a binder or envelope. Or you could prepare a digital copy on a thumbdrive that you keep on your keychain. If you go the digital route make sure there is note in your wallet that the information is on the thumbdrive. Label the package so healthcare providers will recognize it.

We hope this progressive planning will make your potential hospital admission go much more smoothly and take the stress off of you and your family. With a go package such as this, you and others don’t need to search around to make sure you have all this information while you are experiencing a health crisis. The best time to prepare for an illness is when you feel well.  If you’re already at the hospital, someone can pick it up and bring it where it’s needed. Let your loved ones and decision makers know where you keep the go package in the event you are unable to take it with you. If still need an estate plan or if you need to update your plan, Emily B. Kile in our firm can assist you. If you have questions we have answers; you can call us at (480) 348-1590 or make an appointment online. We’re here for you.

Written by: Jennifer Kupiszewski, Esq.

The lawyer disclaimer: We hope you find this informative, but it is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney, who can review your specific situation and account for variations in state law and local practices. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, so the longer it has been since this was written, the greater the likelihood that the information might be out of date.

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