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According to Kenneth Friedman of Herbert V. Friedman Inc. (HFI), which administers the program, the APS Insurance Trust was established in 1969 and first offered to the membership in February 1970. At that time, only term life insurance was included. One of the continued benefits of the program, says Friedman, is that unlike most private life insurance programs, which require a physical exam, the APS Term Life program does not require a medical exam unless the non-medical questionnaire reveals a problem that can only be addressed by a physical examination.
The program serves younger members of the APS particularly well. For example, the term life program provided insurance for younger members at a cost far below the market price of early 1970s, when many were having difficulty finding work in physics research. Similarly, during the job market crunch of the early 1990s, a substantial number of physicists were unable to find employment or lost their jobs, thus losing group insurance benefits.
"The cost of our insurance was so small as to provide a wonderful substitute for their loss at a price even unemployed physicists could afford," Friedman said.
In addition, as the cost of term insurance went down with private companies, the APS program kept pace.
"Today, except for ages over 60, our prices are most competitive with any private insurance plans," Friedman said.
There is a provision, at no additional cost, that the premiums will be waived if the insured become disabled. And to adapt to the changing needs of APS members over the years, HFI has added long-term disability, hospital indemnity, accidental death and dismemberment and long-term care to its provisions, and continues to examine new programs which may prove beneficial for APS members. For example, this year the APS added a Living Benefit Option to the Life Program, a provision that allows for 50 percent - up to a maximum of $100,000 - of an insured's principal sum to be paid out to the insured, if he or she is certified by a physician as being terminally ill.
Members interested in obtaining complete information on any of the plans offered by the APS Insurance Trust should contact Herbert V. Friedman, Inc., 119 North Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, New York, 11570-4179; phone: 516-764-0050; toll free: 1- 800-272-1637.