Indiana Life Insurance CEO says deaths among people ages 18 to 64 have increased 40%



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

“We are currently seeing the highest death rates that we have seen in the history of this company – and not just at OneAmerica,” said the company’s CEO Scott Davison during an online press conference this week. “The data is consistent for all players in this business.”

OneAmerica is a $ 100 billion insurance company headquartered in Indianapolis since 1877. The company employs approximately 2,400 people and sells life insurance, including group life insurance, to employers in the state.

Mr Davison said the increase in deaths was a “very large number” and that it was not the elderly who were dying, but “mainly people of working age between 18 and 64” who were employees of companies with group life insurance plans in America.

“And what we just saw in the third quarter, we see that the fourth quarter mortality rates are 40% higher than before the pandemic,” he said.

“Just to give you an idea of ​​how bad this is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200 disaster would mean a 10 percent increase over the pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% are simply unknown.”

Mr. Davison was one of several business leaders who spoke during the December 30th virtual press conference organized by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Most of the death claims submitted are not classified as COVID-19 deaths, Mr Davison said.

“What the data shows us is that the deaths reported as COVID deaths greatly underestimate the actual death toll among people of working age from the pandemic. It might not all be COVID on her death certificate, but the deaths are just huge.

At the same time, he said the company is seeing an “upswing” in disability entitlements, first short-term disability entitlements and now the increase in long-term disability entitlements.

“For OneAmerica, we expect the cost to be well in excess of $ 100 million, and this is our smallest business. So it has a big impact on it, ”he said.

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

The CDC’s weekly death toll, which reflects information on death certificates and therefore has a delay of up to eight weeks or more, shows that there were far fewer deaths from COVID-19 in Indiana than in the week leading up to November 6th a a year ago – 195 verses 336 – but more deaths from other reasons – 1,350 versus 1,319.

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

At the same press conference Mr. Davison spoke, Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said hospitals across the state were inundated with patients “with many different diseases” and were declining during the pandemic. “

On a follow-up call, he said he had no breakdown showing why so many people are being hospitalized in the state – for what conditions or illnesses. But he said the exceptionally high death rate quoted by Davison was equivalent to what hospitals in the state are seeing.

“What it vindicated for me is that it pierces what we see on the front end,” he said.

The number of hospital admissions in the state is now higher than it was before the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced a year ago and, in fact, higher than it has been in the last five years, said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana chief medical officer, at a press conference with Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday.

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

The state’s online dashboard shows the moving average of daily deaths from COVID-19 is less than half of last year. At the height of the pandemic a year ago, 125 people died in one day – on December 29, 2020. In the past three months, the highest number of deaths in one day was on December 13th. at 58.

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