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Advance Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that lay out your medical preferences in case you become too sick to make your own decisions.

About Advanced Directives

It’s important to let your loved ones and health care providers know about the treatment you do or do not want to receive should you face a life-threatening illness. You have the right to communicate your wishes through legal documents called advance directives.

You do not need to be sick to create an advance directive. Having one before life-threatening conditions or health emergencies occur can help reduce confusion for you and your loved ones.

Types of Advanced Directives

There are two types of advance directives:

1Living Will

This legal document spells out how you want your care to be handled if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. Your living will can include information on the use of dialysis and breathing machines, resuscitation efforts, feeding tubes and organ or tissue donation.

2Health Care Power of Attorney

This document enables you to authorize someone to act as your agent to make decisions about your health care if you are unable to communicate your wishes for yourself. You can appoint anyone you wish to have power of attorney privileges, including a relative, friend or lawyer.

Advance Directive Best Practices

To help ensure your wishes are met, you should:

  • Give a copy of your advance directive to your primary care physician (PCP) and to the individual(s) you have named to make decisions for you in the event you cannot speak for yourself.
  • Tell your Care Coordinator at Jefferson Health Plans about whether or not you have an advance directive. We can note it in our system with your permission.

Our Advanced Directives Policy

Jefferson Health Plans cannot refuse or otherwise discriminate against you based on whether or not you have an advance directive. We have educated our health care management staff and our community partners about the importance of advance directives and the documents required to meet Pennsylvania and New Jersey law. If you wish to file a complaint about our Advance Directives policy, please call 1-888-477-9800 (TTY 1-877-454-8477) anytime.

Additional Resources

To learn more about advance directives, and to download related documents, you can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

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To learn more about advance directives in New Jersey, you can visit the website.

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