Guide To Attending Physician Statement For Life Insurance (APS)
By James Tobin, CFP®
Expert Review Of Attending Physician Statement For Life Insurance (APS)
If you are wondering what an APS or attending Physician's statement for life insurance is, you have come to the right place.
Just Keep reading.
Depending on your circumstances, the underwriter for your life insurance application may require an attending physician statement.
The way this is done is by requesting an attending physicians statement of APS as it is known in the insurance world.
The purpose of this article is to provide a background on attending physicians statements, and how to navigate this requirement in a way that gives you the best shot at a great deal on life insurance.
What is an Attending Physician Statement?
An attending physician's statement for life insurance is basically a report of your medical condition from the point of view of the attending doctor.
Attending physicians reports have long been used in both life and disability insurance. In the case of disability, the attending physicians statement is often also a requirement of your employer.
They want to make sure your not faking it!
When is a APS requested for Life insurance applications?
This can be the proverbial $64000 question.
Requests for attending physicians reports vary from carrier to carrier, and even underwriter to underwriter.
Generally speaking, if the results from a life insurance medical exam show something that concerns the underwriter that the carrier may be taking on more risk than is evident, they may request an attending physicians statement.
Additionally, if you have an insurable condition that requires medication and routine follow up, the underwriter may want to use the APS as a way to check on your compliance.
Because the APS can delay or even derail a life insurance application, it is standard practice to try and avoid carriers who are known to request them for your specific condition.
While predicting carrier behavior can be tricky, using an independent agent to shop policy option gives you the best chance to avoid the APS.
How Long Does an APS take to be Completed?
This is yet another nearly impossible question to answer with any confidence as each doctor works on a different time table.
However, it is safe to say that doctors are in no hurry to fill out attending physician reports. The primary reason for this is that with limited time in the day, this activity is not nearly as profitable as seeing patients.
APS reports have been known to take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to complete.
How to Speed up The Attending Physician Statement Process
You have probably heard the saying that the "squeaky wheel gets the oil", well getting the APS completed is no different.
The thing doctors want to do less than APS reports is listen to angry patients. If you contact your doctor's office, and be a nag if need be, you will surely speed up the process.
You may be wondering why the agent doesn't do it, after all "they're making money on my policy right"?
Believe me, we try. the problem is an insurance agent has no leverage with the doctors office. As the patient, you have far more leverage with the doctor. After all, his business relies on patients.
Can You Avoid an APS with a No Exam Policy?
No exam policy options vary from carrier to carrier. Some will order an APS on the basis of answers to application questions or Medical Information Bureau data.?
That said, a no exam policy has certain advantages over traditionally underwritten policies. Aside from the inconvenience of the exam (not to mention needles and urine), there are no surprise issues that arise. This is particularly important if you do not see a doctor regularly.
With no hiccups an no exam policy will be in force between two days and two weeks. this is a dramatic improvement over fully underwritten policies that can take two months or more.
Your Next Step
Regardless of your health, whether you want to avoid an APS or just effectively navigate it, we are happy to help.
Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started.
We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.
If you have any questions, We'd like to hear them.