LANCASTER, PA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/19/13 -- Though the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," remains a contentious topic in some circles, there is some new research to suggest that the far-reaching healthcare reform legislation has had a positive impact, particularly on young people. Gallup finds that fewer young adults in the U.S. lacked health insurance at the end of 2012 than they did at the beginning of that year. The Gallup data has won the notice of Matthew Kirk, of Access Financial Markets. Kirk, a long-time benefits administration professional, has weighed in on the Gallup survey with a new statement to the press.
"Regardless of one's opinion on the Affordable Care Act, it is clear that the legislatively mandated dependent-coverage-to-age-26 provision has provided a mechanism for those in the affected age demographic to secure health insurance in a manner which heretofore did not exist," Matthew Kirk comments in his new press statement.
Indeed, the Gallup data shows that, in the final quarter of 2012, only 22.7 percent of Americans, aged 18 to 25, reported to having no health insurance. This marks a significant decline from the first quarter of 2012, in which 24.5 percent claimed not to have health insurance. It also marks the smallest percentage of uninsured young adults since Gallup began tracking these numbers in 2008.
"In 2014, the individual mandate will take effect," continues Matthew Kirk. "In addition to an expansion of young adults securing coverage through the dependent-coverage-to-age-26 provision, it is likely that other health insurance products, for example, individual health polices, will also see a marked increase in utilization."
Kirk continues his assessment of the recent Gallup data. "While many of the findings in the Gallup polling seem to indicate broad increases in health coverage for many demographic groups, the uncertainty of the pricing of the various insurance products that will be available to provide coverage may drive the purchasing patterns of certain groups to be much different than others."
While Gallup reports positive effects of the Affordable Care Act, in terms of declining uninsured rates among young people, rates among older Americans remain steady. Gallup notes that the uninsured rate among young adults has steadily declined ever since 2010, when these laws were first implemented. This suggests a potential correlation between the declining uninsured rates and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Matthew Kirk currently serves as the President of The Benecon Group, Inc. Benecon is one of the country's leading benefits administration and consulting companies. Kirk is zealous for helping business owners and HR departments understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act.
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.
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