Do You Need An APS For Life Insurance? All About Attending Physician Statements
Applying for a life insurance policy typically requires you to undergo a medical examination. However, some insurance companies may also request an attending physician statement (or an APS) from your doctor.
But what is this statement for? And how does it affect your insurance rates? In this guide, we'll answer all your questions about this requirement, and we’ll tell you what to expect when a life insurance company asks for one.
What Is An Attending Physician Statement (APS)?
As part of the insurance application process, an applicant will be asked to answer a medical health questionnaire, as well as undergo a medical examination. The purpose of this is to give the insurance company an initial snapshot of your medical history and insurance risk, then tentatively determine your premium quotes.
If during this process, you've mentioned that you have a chronic or serious medical condition, the insurance company may ask for an attending physician's statement (APS) from your doctor. This report will give them a closer look into your medical history – including any complications you may be suffering and any kind of medication you're taking. Whatever information they get from an APS is meant to help them adjust your quote to account for any additional risk they might undertake by insuring you.
Is An APS Required For Life Insurance?
No, not unless you have a chronic health condition. Many applicants will never be asked for an APS. If you do have a chronic medical condition and don't want to go through the trouble of waiting for an APS, you can still get no-exam or simplified issue life insurance coverage – these will get you covered faster, but will charge you higher premiums.
How Long Will It Take To Get An Attending Physician Statement?
It will depend on your physician. Because your physician will have to set aside some time out of their day to fill in this paperwork, it could take up to a couple of weeks – or even longer – for your underwriter to get the APS from them. After they fill out the APS paperwork, they'll send it to the insurance company, where they will summarize this information in a report. To avoid missing any details, your underwriter will have a template structure for the report.
Note that this time period is separate from the typical four to six weeks of the underwriting process, so expect additional delays if you're required to get an attending physician statement. If you need immediate coverage, talk to your insurance broker about getting temporary life insurance, or other forms of insurance that don't require an APS.
Will An Attending Physician Statement Cost Money?
No, at least not for you! It's an additional step for the underwriting process, so it's the life insurance company that will bear the cost of obtaining this from healthcare providers.
How Is An APS Related To A Medical Examination?
A medical exam is supposed to give insurance companies initial insights into your medical information. For your exam, your insurer will send a medical tech to you or ask you to visit the technician's lab. Once there, the technician will perform a standard medical checkup, including weight and height checks, heart rate measurement, and blood sampling. This procedure isn't enough to give background information for more complicated health conditions, so your insurer may need to request an APS from your doctor.
Combining your exam results with your attending physician statement will allow your provider to prepare a report and compute your final premium rates. If after the underwriting report, the insurance company finds that there is additional risk in insuring you, they can increase your quote.
Can You Get Insured Without An APS?
Yes. You can get insured regardless of your health status, without undergoing a medical exam or giving an attending physician statement. Simplified issue life insurance, guaranteed issue life insurance, and group life insurance can give you coverage without an APS. Here's a quick comparison of each type of APS-free life insurance.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance
Simplified issue term or whole life insurance policies give you coverage after answering a basic health questionnaire. This life insurance policy is for those who want to get coverage without a time-consuming underwriting process, as it doesn’t require a medical exam. While it's easy to get approval for this policy, your life insurance rates will be higher.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance is also known as a "no exam policy". With this type of policy, your life insurance application will be approved without requiring your health information or a medical exam. This insurance policy has a waiting period, and if you die during the period, your beneficiaries won't receive a death benefit. They will, however, typically repay your premiums with interest. The purpose of this rule is to help life insurance carriers mitigate the added risk they would assume from insuring those with serious medical conditions.
Group Life Insurance
If your employer provides workplace life insurance as a perk, this is a great way to get coverage without subjecting yourself to a medical exam or submitting an APS. The premiums would normally be paid by your employer or deducted from your salary and they're usually very low. The downside is that this provides a very limited form of coverage, but you can always ask the life insurance provider to see if you can supplement this policy.
Comparing quotes from the top companies? If you need help analyzing insurer requirements and benefits, you should consult a financial expert for an accurate life insurance comparison. Get in touch with Wesley Insurance, LLC for more information!