What is an Attending Physician Statement (APS)?

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated on November 16, 2023

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated November 16, 2023

Visit author page

3 minute read

Article Contents
What is an Attending Physician Statement (APS) in Life Insurance

What is an Attending Physician Statement (APS) in Life Insurance?

Navigating the labyrinth of life insurance can be akin to deciphering an ancient scroll – complex and filled with unfamiliar terms. One such term that often confuses people is the “Attending Physician Statement” or APS. But what exactly is an APS, and why does it play a pivotal role in the life insurance process?

Understanding the Attending Physician Statement

An Attending Physician Statement is a document that your doctor fills out, which provides a comprehensive view of your health history to your life insurance provider. Think of it as a detailed narrative of your medical story, penned by the one who knows it best – your physician. It’s a deep dive into your medical past, present, and sometimes even future predictions, offering insurers a clear lens through which they can assess your risk profile.

Here is a summary of what an APS includes:

  • Detailed medical history
  • Past and current health conditions
  • Treatments and outcomes
  • Physician’s notes on prognosis and any ongoing health concerns

The Role and Benefits of APS in Life Insurance

When you apply for life insurance, the insurer wants to know what kind of risk they’re taking. That’s where the APS comes in. It’s like a medical biography that gives the insurer insights into your health, past and present. This includes any diagnoses, treatments, and the overall management of your health conditions. The APS is a critical piece of the puzzle, providing context to the numbers and facts that emerge from medical tests and questionnaires. The narrative can sway the underwriter’s decision, tipping the scales in favour of a more favourable insurance premium or, conversely, highlighting risks that might necessitate higher premiums or special policy stipulations. In short, APS comes with a bunch of benefits:

  • Provides a clear and comprehensive picture of your health
  • This can lead to more favourable insurance terms and premiums
  • Ensures that your coverage is based on accurate and complete information
What an APS includes and its benefits

When is an APS Required?

You might wonder, “Do I always need to provide an APS?” The answer is not always. For standard life insurance applications, your medical questionnaire might suffice. However, the insurer might want to read the full story if there’s a complex health issue at play, and that’s when an APS becomes essential. Unfortunately, according to Diabetes Canada, many people with serious health issues like diabetes or cancer find it difficult to obtain or renew affordable insurance of all types. In some cases, the APS can be the deciding factor in whether you’re granted insurance and at what cost. 

The Cost of an Attending Physician Statement

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the cost. Obtaining an APS can sometimes come with a fee, and it varies. The price depends on the complexity of your medical history. While some physicians may provide this service as part of your care, others may charge a fee to compensate for the time and effort required to compile a thorough and accurate report. It’s essential to consider this potential cost when applying for life insurance, as it can add to the overall expense of securing a policy. If you’re unsure whether paying for life insurance is even worth it for you, we can help you make the decision. 

How to Obtain an APS

Securing an Attending Physician Statement involves a collaborative effort with your doctor. The accuracy and completeness of this document are paramount. Even a minor mistake could result in increased premiums or, worse, rejection of coverage. It’s wise to engage in an open dialogue with your healthcare provider regarding the significance of the APS, emphasizing its potential influence on your life insurance application. Additionally, it’s prudent to double-check the APS for precision prior to its submission to the insurance company. Taking these proactive steps can help iron out any issues beforehand and fortify the robustness of your application.

The Impact of APS on Life Insurance

An APS can be your best advocate or biggest hurdle in securing life insurance. It can solidify your application, ensuring that your coverage stands firm, or it can raise red flags that might need addressing. For instance, if the APS reveals a previously undiagnosed condition or a higher level of risk than initially reported, it could change the course of your application, affecting everything from your eligibility to your premium rates. On the flip side, a clean bill of health in the APS can lead to more competitive rates and easier approval.

APS and Non-Medical Life Insurance

If you opt for simplified or guaranteed life insurance, breathe a sigh of relief. These policies typically don’t require an APS, as they’re designed to streamline the process, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. These types of insurance are a beacon of hope for those who might otherwise be deemed too high-risk, offering a safety net without the need for extensive medical disclosures. However, it’s worth noting that the premiums for these policies may be higher to offset the insurer’s blind spot regarding your medical history. Despite potential expenses, life insurance is still important, and the benefits usually outweigh the drawbacks.

The Bottom Line

An APS is not just a formality, it’s a critical piece of the life insurance puzzle. It ensures you get the coverage you deserve at a rate that reflects your true health status. So, when it comes to APS, honesty and accuracy are your best policies. It’s a document that can either open doors to comprehensive coverage or necessitate more careful consideration of the terms and conditions of your life insurance policy. In the end, the APS is a testament to the fact that in the world of life insurance, knowledge truly is power – the power to protect your loved ones and secure their financial future.

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