ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- When the stock market crashed in 1929 leaving shattered lives and a fatigued economy throughout the United States, Asheville, N.C. carried the heaviest burden of all. Yet like many American cities, Asheville celebrated a booming economy in the 1920s, blissfully ignoring an awaiting financial doom. Asheville's thundering financial boom was silenced abruptly on Nov. 20, 1930, when the Central Bank and Trust Company, major holder of county funds, closed its doors. Collapse and ruin descended on Buncombe County as holdings plummeted from nearly $180 million in 1927 to $80 million in 1933. Massive debt for the city and county loomed as schools and sanitary districts were robbed of much-needed funds.
A young aristocrat from New York visited Asheville in the 1880s with his mother to see what he described later as the most beautiful place in the world. George W. Vanderbilt purchased 125,000 acres, and eventually constructed what is now America's largest private residence—Biltmore. The name is derived from "Bildt", the Dutch town home to Vanderbilt ancestors, and "more," an old English word for rolling, mountainous country. He commissioned renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds and gardens, and celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to help him plan the house. It took hundreds of workers from 1890-1895 to complete the 255-room, French Renaissance chateau and surrounding grounds. Vanderbilt's dream to replicate the great estates of Europe through Biltmore brought romance and a distinctive elegance to Asheville, achieving a celebrity status never experienced before in Western North Carolina. Family members and friends invited from all over the United States and beyond came to experience the opulent estate with the splendor of Olmsted's sweet-smelling gardens, rich foods at the 64-seat banquet table, and the utter beauty of Vanderbilt's glorious mountains. Visitors were amazed at the indoor pool, bowling alley, exercise equipment, library, and other rooms filled with art works, furniture and novelties from all over the world. Lavish hotels and inns were constructed, such as the Battery Park in 1889.
Buncombe County posts a population today of 196,000, over 9,000 businesses, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, access via Interstate highways I-26 and I-40, the Asheville Regional Airport, a thriving downtown area with museums, bistros, clubs and shops and two shopping malls. Asheville has recently invested millions of dollars for new construction and renovation to bring the district back. Saving the many classic buildings that contribute to the architectural diversity of downtown Asheville remains an important goal for the city.
Jerry Ballard & Associates, Inc. is an award-winning, top-producing, online-based North Carolina Insurance Agency that has attained the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina President's Club Status for excellence since its inception. At NC Health Plans, we offer a variety of insurance products, focusing primarily on the North Carolina health insurance and Medicare markets. Our goal is to provide the highest level of service to our customers while offering the convenience of handling your health insurance needs from the comfort of your own home. A leader in the industry, Jerry Ballard has been the #1 top producing independent insurance agent for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina in individual sales for 11 consecutive years. In August 2014, Jerry was inducted in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Hall of Fame and he has successfully built a team of qualified, professional Agents dedicated to providing exemplary service to both new and existing customers. Not only does our Agency offer outstanding service, we also provide the technological sophistication you need to obtain quick and accurate information via our website, www.nchealthplans.com. In this ever-changing health insurance market, it is more important than ever to have a knowledgeable and professional advocate to help you navigate your insurance needs. At Jerry Ballard & Associates, Inc. we make it our priority to offer you both quality products and personal service.
In December 2018 our Agency was further recognized and received The Elite Plus Circle of Champions status for 2019 which highlights the highest performing agents and brokers into this small and esteemed group. The Elite Plus designation is the pinnacle of the Marketplace Circle of Champions program. We were among the top performing agents or brokers in the Marketplace, helping 500 and more consumers make plan selections and enroll for plan year 2019.
In December 2017 our Agency was recognized and received a Certificate of Recognition from HealthCare.Gov in appreciation of our ongoing contribution and success during the 2018 Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period. This recognition placed us in the Circle of Champions and is based on our hard work and high enrollment production. This has increased access to health care for many and made a lasting positive impact for all of our customers throughout the State of North Carolina.
NC Health Plans offers Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance plans both on and off the Health Insurance Exchange/Marketplace, Medicare Supplement plans, Group Health Insurance and Dental plans for all ages.
We also offer additional products through other carriers including, Temporary Health Insurance, Term Life Insurance, Vision Insurance, Short Term Disability, Home Health Care plans which is a great alternative to Long Term Care and Out of Pocket Protection plans that can help reduce or eliminate your health insurance deductible.