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Matthew Kirk of Access Financial Markets: Healthcare Reform's Effects Already Felt

LANCASTER, Pa., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Though the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, remains contentious in some political circles, a new report published in The Huffington Post reveals that the healthcare reform legislation has already had an impact—and in many ways a positive one, at that. According to The Huffington Post, the strong effects of the ACA stand in stark contrast to broader economic signifiers, many of which remain grim. The publication notes that, among younger adults, unemployment rates are still high, and college loan debt is constantly increasing, but the rate of those who have health insurance has gone up since last year. These findings have won the attention of Matthew Kirk of Access Financial Markets, a long-time health insurance professional.

Matthew Kirk of Access Financial Markets currently serves as the President of The Benecon Group, a benefits administration and consultation company based in Pennsylvania. The company has developed and administers 15 self-funded health benefit consortia. Matthew Kirk has responded to the recent Huffington Post story with a new statement to the press, in which he acknowledges that, politics aside, the economic implications of the ACA's implementation are difficult to dismiss—and that they will likely lead to increases in the cost of coverage.

"Regardless of one's opinion on the public policy necessity of mandated coverage for dependent children until age 26, the financial implications are simple: the cost of such a mandate will increase the cost of coverage," says Matthew Kirk.

Recent data finds that the number of Americans without health insurance has decreased for the first time in four years. This is largely due to an increase in coverage among young adults. In particular, the data suggests that young adults now have a higher rate of health insurance coverage because of one of the most popular and immediate provisions of the ACA—namely, that young adults can stay on their parents' health insurance plan through age 26.  As such, the percentage of young adults who are uninsured has declined from roughly a third to just 28 percent, a conservative yet still significant fluctuation.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Obama White House both estimate that, between the implementation of the rule in September 2010 and the end of 2011, 3.1 million Americans under the age of 26 gained healthcare coverage.

This data suggests that the Affordable Care Act has already had significant effects. Matthew Kirk of Access Financial Markets maintains that the legislation will ultimately lead to a spike in coverage costs, however.


Matthew Kirk, formerly of Access Financial Markets, is currently President of The Benecon Group, Inc., a leading benefit administration and consultation company. Benecon has developed and administers 15 self-funded health benefit consortia and offers a range of services as a general agent to many commercial and select Blue carriers. Before coming to Benecon, Matthew Kirk was a Managing Director at Access Financial Markets, Inc. specializing in financial consulting and interest rate swap advisory. At Benecon, Mr. Kirk helps provide insurance services to more than 400 different agencies.

SOURCE Matthew Kirk