Garner began as a North Carolina Railroad Station between Goldsboro and Charlotte. Once the town acquired a railroad depot, it was reincorporated in 1905, this time as "Town of Garner". The depot, a four room building with a tin roof, quickly became essential to the community, carrying passengers once a day to Raleigh and establishing Garner as a local market and shipping point for cotton. Farming was the chief source of income for the early settlers of Garner and nearby areas, with cotton the principal crop. Before the turn of the century some small businesses were beginning to be developed. The first business in Garner is said to have been a wood shop owned by Henry Fort. Fort was said to have been a fine cabinetmaker and carpenter, making wardrobes, bureaus, and other pieces of wood furniture still being used by some Garner residents today. One of the first grocery stores in town was owned by Thomas Bennett. Other early businesses included a mercantile business owned by H.D. Rand, a drug store operated by George Montague, and several general stores operated by people such as C.H. Dupree, Jr., R. Garner, J.B. Hobby, and J.R. Williams. In addition to general stores and cotton gins in the area, other businesses such as blacksmith, repair shops, barber shops, livery stables, and boarding houses existed. The first bank was established in Garner in 1910. H.D. Rand was president and J.A. Weathers was the cashier. In 1912, telephone service came to Garner. In a short while, there were as many as 10 subscribers. The first switch¬board was operated in the home of Vera Jones. The telephone service closed after two years and then returned in 1924. Electricity came to Garner in 1921. Developments and subdivisions began to appear in Garner in 1923 when, what is today known as Old Garner High School, was constructed. As the town continued to grow and populate, Highway 70 was widened and re-routed to bypass the downtown commercial district. Unfortunately this caused the commercial development to shift away from the downtown area as shopping centers and new subdivisions sprang up around the bypass. While this eventually caused a decline in downtown Garner, recent attempts at revitalization have been successful. The business and residential life of Garner continued to grow steadily throughout the years, with more rapid growth in recent times.
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.