Indiana Life Insurance CEO Says Deaths Up 40% Among People Aged 18-64 | State

(The Center Square) – The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate has risen 40% from pre-pandemic levels among people of working age.

“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this company – not just at OneAmerica,” company CEO Scott Davison said at a conference call. press online this week. “The data is consistent for everyone in this business.”

OneAmerica is a $100 billion insurance company that has been headquartered in Indianapolis since 1877. The company has approximately 2,400 employees and sells life insurance, including group life insurance, to state employers.

Davison said the increase in fatalities represents “a huge, huge number”, and that it is not the elderly who are dying, but “mainly people of working age between 18 and 64” who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica.

“And what we saw just in the third quarter, we see it continuing in the fourth quarter, is that the death rates have increased by 40% compared to what they were before the pandemic,” he said. -he declares.

“Just to give you an idea of ​​how bad the situation is, a three sigma catastrophe or a catastrophe in 200 years would represent a 10% increase over the pre-pandemic period,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”

Davison was one of many business leaders who spoke at the Dec. 30 virtual press conference hosted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Most death claims filed are not classified as COVID-19 deaths, Davison said.

“What the data shows us is that deaths that are reported as COVID deaths significantly underestimate the true death losses among working-age people due to the pandemic. It might not all be COVID on their death certificate, but the deaths are just huge, huge.

He said that at the same time the company was seeing an ‘increase’ in disability claims, saying it started out as short-term disability claims, and the increase is now in claims. long-term disability.

“For OneAmerica, we expect the costs to be well over $100 million, and it’s our smallest company, so that has a huge impact on that,” he said.

He said the costs will be passed on to employers who buy group life insurance policies, who will have to pay higher premiums.

The CDC’s weekly death count, which mirrors death certificate information and therefore has a lag of up to eight weeks or more, shows that for the week ending Nov. 6, there were significantly fewer COVID-19 deaths in Indiana from a year ago – 195 verses 336 – but more deaths from other causes – 1,350 from 1,319.

However, these deaths involved people of all ages, while the information Davison referenced involved people of working age who are employees of companies with group life insurance policies.

At the same press conference where Davison spoke, Brian Tabor, the president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said hospitals across the state were inundated with patients “with many different conditions,” stating ” unfortunately, the Hoosiers’ average health has declined during the pandemic.

In a follow-up call, he said he didn’t have a breakdown showing why so many people in the state were hospitalized – for what conditions or ailments. But he said the extraordinarily high death rate cited by Davison was consistent with what hospitals across the state are seeing.

“What it confirmed for me is that it confirms what we see up front,…” he said.

The number of hospitalizations in the state is now higher than before the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine a year ago, and in fact is higher than it has been for the past five years. , Indiana’s chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said at a press conference with Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday.

Just 8.9% of critical care beds are available in state hospitals, a low for the year and lower at any time during the pandemic. But the majority of intensive care beds are not occupied by COVID-19 patients – only 37% are, while 54% of intensive care beds are occupied by people with other illnesses or conditions.

The state’s online dashboard shows the rolling average of daily COVID-19 deaths is half what it was a year ago. At the height of the pandemic a year ago, 125 people died in one day – December 29, 2020. In the past three months, the highest single-day death toll was 58, on December 13.

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