Appalachian Life Insurance – In April, I was told that Ethos Life was raising $2 billion at a valuation of $77 million. Now, according to Crunchbase, the life insurance broker has closed a $202 million Series D round led by General Catalyst with participation from Accel, GV and Sequoia Capital. This round brings the company’s total funding to $308 million.
Founded in 2016, the company (a team of 150 plus) offers a full range of health and wellness products, selling directly to consumers and partnering with consumers; despite concerns raised in the past about the “general practice” of using solicited insurance agents, as it may encourage consumers to shop around instead of finding the policy that’s right for them individually. But to say that Ethos “collaborates” with customers is an understatement. The company created 1-80 to support customers in a variety of ways. Ethos hosts webinars for lead generation and telemarketing, provides customer advice and provides articles to help customers sell more effectively over the phone. Here are some tips from a member of the Agent Ethos Council that have been shared with clients:
Appalachian Life Insurance
As of October 2020, he has recruited nearly 200 clients, and his Facebook group for clients currently has 1,000 members. Ethos also has a partnership with the Brokers Alliance, a distributor of financial and insurance products for financial professionals, and has announced a partnership with Appalachian. Other affiliates include personal lines insurance aggregator and a personal lines/commercial lines agent.
The Hinton News January 18, 2005: Page 6
By comparison, Bestow is expected to end 2020 with about 35,000 policies, according to a statement. It recently confirmed a relationship with Lemonade.
Appalachia has three regions: the southern region, which includes parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolinas, and Tennessee; the central region, which includes parts of Kentucky, southern West Virginia, southern and southeastern Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee; and the northern region, which includes parts of New York, Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, Maryland, and northern and northern Ohio. While the entire Appalachian region struggles with higher levels of poverty, unemployment, and a lack of services and infrastructure, some regions suffer more than others and in different ways (Tickier and Duncan).
Even compared to other rural areas, Appalachia struggles on measures of educational attainment, household income, population growth and labor force participation. Disability and poverty rates are higher in rural Appalachia than in any other rural United States. In 2018, the number of Appalachian residents living below the poverty line was higher than the national average for every age group except those 65 and older. The biggest difference is among young adults (18-24), where the Appalachian population is 3% larger than anywhere else. From 2009 to 2018, median household income in Appalachia grew by 5%, not far behind the national average of 5.3%. However, the average household income in Appalachia remains more than $10,000 below the national average.
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One area where differences can be seen between Appalachia and other parts of the country is health care. The Appalachia Regional Commission published in 2017 “Health Disparities in Appalachia,” which reviewed forty-one population and public health indicators in a comprehensive review of the health of the region. fifteen million people live in Appalachia. The study found that Appalachia has higher rates than the rest of the nation of the nation’s seven leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, COPD, trauma, stroke, diabetes and suicide. In addition, the prevalence of depression is much higher in Appalachia than in the rest of the country. The death rate from drug addiction is higher in the Appalachian region than in the rest of the country, especially in rural and economically disadvantaged areas of the region. Studies show that depression rates increase during the COVID-19 era. This is especially true for women, who die of depression at a rate 45% higher than the national average in Appalachia. The ARC found that while rates of depression were higher in Appalachia’s urban areas, rates of suicide and liver disease were higher in rural areas.
These issues are exacerbated by the limited supply of health care professionals per capita, including primary care physicians, mental health providers, specialists and dentists in Appalachia. The Appalachia sub-region has a 65 percent lower supply of specialist physicians than the rest of the country. Other factors could negatively affect the health of Appalachia. About twenty-five percent of adults in Appalachia are smokers, compared to only sixteen percent of all American adults, and obesity and physical inactivity are very common. However, it is worth noting that in some areas of public health, such as STI/STDs and HIV, Appalachia fares better than the rest of the country. Disparities in health care are a significant phenomenon. From 1989-1995, the cancer rate in Appalachia was only 1% higher than the rest of the United States, but from 2008-2014, it increased to 10% higher. During the same period, the infant mortality rate was 4% higher to 16% higher. And in 1995, Appalachia’s household poverty rate was 0.6% higher than the national average, but in 2014 it was 1.6% higher. We like to think of these problems as a thing of the past, but the opportunities are still very relevant. Fortunately, people living in Appalachian communities are more likely to have health insurance than the rest of America. 8.8% of Appalachia’s population lacks health insurance compared to the national average of 9.4%.
This year, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, certain aspects of the Appalachian population have made those living there more vulnerable to COVID-19. 18.4% of people living in Appalachia are over the age of sixty-five, which is more than two percentage points higher than the national average. In more than half of Appalachian counties, more than 20% of the population is over 65 years old. This, along with high rates of obesity and smoking, puts many people in the “high risk” category. COVID-19 has affected Appalachian communities in ways that don’t kill, but make life more difficult. Food insecurity, for example, is a more complex problem. In one kitchen, “… we serve about 200 people a day, and we’ve almost tripled since the start of COVID,” said social worker Brooke Parker. of Charleston, West Virginia.
However, due to the isolated nature of many Appalachian communities, death rates from COVID-19 have not been significantly higher than national averages.
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As schools transition to online learning, Internet access issues in Appalachia become more and more pressing. About 84% of Appalachian households have a computer, five percentage points below the national average. 75% have real internet access, five percent less than average. There is no easy solution to this lack of access to education. Even in non-Appalachian counties, students face significant disruptions in their academic performance.
Human rights organizations need to pay close attention to Appalachia as we witness the effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable and at-risk populations. The end results of the epidemic will be worse here than in other parts of the country. People living in Appalachia deserve the same assistance and resources that cities in other parts of the United States receive. They often forget.
1. “Health Care in Appalachia.” Marshall, J., Thomas, L., Lane, N., Holmes, G., Arcuri, T., Randolph, R., Silberman, P., Holding, W., Villamil, L., Thomas, S., Lane, M., Latus, J., Rogers, J. and Ivey, K. 23 August 2017. https://www.arc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Health_Disparities_in_Appalachia_August_2017.pdf. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
3. Tickamyer, A., Duncan, C. (1990). The Structure of Poverty and Opportunity in Rural America. Annual Review of Sociology. 16:67-86.
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