Skip to Main content

Advance Directives

AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa members who are 18 years of age or older often make important choices about their health.

The Patient Self-Determination Act is a federal law. It says that you have the right to choose your medical care and treatment. You have the right to let your doctor or other health care provider know about your wishes through an advance directive.

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive is a choice you make ahead of time about the care you do or do not want. You make the choices ahead of time in case you can’t when you need care.

Advance directives are used only if you can’t speak or make choices. Your advance directive would be used if a doctor decides you are in a terminal or vegetative state. AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa will honor your advance directive to the fullest extent of the law.

To make sure your wishes are met if you cannot speak or make a decision about your care, you should write an advance directive and give a copy to your PCP, as well as to family members.

If you have any questions about advance directives, please call Member Services at 1-855-332-2440 (TTY: 1-844-214-2471) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are two kinds of documents that can serve as an advance directive in Iowa.

Living will

A living will is a written record of how you wish your medical care to be handled if you can’t decide and speak for yourself. Your will should say what type of medical treatments you would or would not want to have.

Durable power of attorney for health care

This is a legal document that gives the name of the person you want to make medical treatment decisions for you in case you cannot make them for yourself. This person does not have to be a lawyer.