When you apply for a life insurance policy, sometimes they require a medical exam before you are approved. Usually, a paramedic does a quick physical exam and gives the report to the insurer.
Depending on your age, the amount of insurance being requested and the results of the quick physical, the insurance company may request additional information about your health history. The report they request is the Attending Physician’s Statement.
What is an attending physician’s statement?
An attending physician’s statement (APS) is a report given by a medical doctor, hospital, or other medical facilities who has treated or is currently treating you, as you apply for life insurance coverage.
The purpose of an APS is to get a better picture of your overall health condition.
Since the insurance company is taking on a risk, they want to be sure they fully understand that risk, first.
If you are applying for a large amount of coverage this report will likely be requested. The insurance company wants to make sure that you do not have any pre-existing conditions they are not aware of.
Your physician’s statement about your overall health will help them determine the amount of insurance they are willing to offer and the rates they will charge.
What is included in an APS?
The APS will ask about current conditions the patient is being treated for, and past conditions they were treated for.
- accidents, illness, surgeries, etc.
- When did this illness or accident happen?
- Was treatment administered to correct the problem?
- What is the patient’s overall health condition now?
They may want to get more details on a medical condition you reported on your application.
This not necessarily a bad thing. If they are satisfied with your physician’s explanation, they may decide that no increases in charges are required.
If the rate is increased, you will be better off that they know all about the condition before issuing coverage. They won’t be able to contest your coverage because of it.
–Benefits of Getting an APS
The benefits of getting an APS is that it clears up any ambiguities that exist on the application or the medics report. This greatly reduces the chances that the insurance company will contest the life insurance policy in the future.
Most companies can contest a policy for the first two years. With the completed APS they cannot contest because there was something in your medical history that you forgot to mention.
–Drawbacks to an APS
The drawbacks to an APS include the fact that it will definitely extend the time required for the underwriting process to be completed. The insurance company will send the form to the doctor’s office and he/she will need to fill it out and return it.
This is not a priority for most doctors. Their main priority is to treat patients. Once the doctor finds the time to fill out the form and return it to the insurance company, the company will need time to review it.
This whole process could take from several weeks to a month or even more.
If the insurance company finds new information that they did not previously know, they could increase the premium charged for the coverage or completely deny coverage.
That is why it is best to reveal all the information you have with the initial application. Once coverage is issued, it is coverage you can count on.
Other Things to Know About an APS
It is one of the most expensive parts of the underwriting process for the insurance company, so they try to get the information they need without ordering it.
However, if they decide to ask for it, it simply means they want to do their due diligence completely, and they feel that it is necessary.
So, the Attending Physician’s Statement is requested by the insurer because they want more information about a condition you reported on your application, the medic has reported or you are applying for a large amount of coverage and they want more information about the level of risk they are taking.
It is best to reveal any information that you have on your application.
If you are asked to authorize an APS to be released, it just means the insurance company is double-checking on some issues.
It may result in a higher premium, but at least the insurance company will not be able to contest the policy in the future. If you are asked for this information, it will just take more time to process your application.
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