Matthew Kirk, Access Financial Markets: Health Insurance
Most people agree that access to health insurance is a privilege and Matthew Kirk, formerly of Access Financial Markets, agrees. Health insurance gives consumers a chance to live longer, higher-quality lives. The recent changes in healthcare reform will require all U.S. citizens to procure some form of health insurance. This requirement is referred to as the “mandate”. Though the mandate is hotly debated on both sides, the fact remains that the estimated 44 million Americans without health insurance will soon need to enroll in some sort of health care insurance program.
As the President of The Benecon Group, Matthew Kirk is acutely aware of the impact healthcare reform will have. The Benecon Group is a benefits administrator and consultant that serves over 400 agencies and has developed and administers 15 self funded consortia. In his leadership role, his job is to keep his clients informed while running an effective business. His training in the fixed-income financial sector gives him an understanding of the cost of healthcare to private industry and public sector entities.
Below is sample of some of the most common questions he hears form these public and private sector employers:
What is a self-funded insurance plan?
These types of plans make employers responsible for the healthcare costs incurred by their employees and their dependents. In simple terms, it is an arrangement where an employer finances its group benefits, like health care benefits, with its own funds. This is different from a “fully-insured plan” where an employer pays a premium to an insurance company and the insurance company pays medical claims regardless of the group’s claim experience. Self-funded programs offer employers the opportunity to take control of their healthcare spend. The Benecon Group helps employers put in place these types of Alternative Risk Transfer programs.
What are Alternative Risk Transfer programs?
Companies often look into these options when the fully-insured marketplace is too expensive. These programs have a degree of complexity, so companies like Benecon perform analysis before advising an employer on implementing an Alternative Risk Transfer program. Generally, a complete study is needed before cost and feasibility is determined.
In a nutshell, what is the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)?
Enacted in 2012, and better known as “Obamacare,” this set of health care reform policies is still taking effect. The foundation of the reform is to address the 44 million Americans with no health insurance. Certain provisions, such as an insurance carriers no longer being able to deny coverage based on the presence of a preexisting condition, have already taken effect.
While many still complain, the provisions of the Act are being implemented. It is imperative that employers, employees and benefits administrators are educated on the modifications. Matthew Kirk, formerly of Access Financial Markets, has been selected to serve on a healthcare reform advisorypanel designed to answer consumer questions. Through an online forum, he will address reader queries and post the answers for the subscribers to the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal. He was asked to join the panel as a result of his experience and knowledge of the Alternative Risk Transfer market, specifically the self-funding of health benefits.
How is the emphasis of insurance companies shifting?
The push to prevent illness is a significant part of contemporary insurance companies’ efforts. It simply costs less in the long run to support healthy initiatives then to pay for treatment of critical illnesses. Of course, not every ailment is preventable, but things like heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer are influenced by healthy lifestyle habits. Known as “wellness programs,” these initiatives focus on getting people to become active, eat right and avoid harmful habits, like smoking.
Matthew Kirk of Access Financial Markets: Experienced Financial Leader
When Matthew Kirk became President at Benecon in 2011, he was determined to use his experience to make Benecon’s self-funded consortium model known to a wider audience He sought put his previous experience in the financial industry to work.
The Benecon Group has great opportunity as it looks to the future. He knows that many challenges lay ahead in coming years, especially with healthcare reform. His background in understanding complex financial and government matters will prove helpful in these efforts.
Matthew Kirk began his career studying political science and government administration. Both areas taught him important leadership skills, and how to understand the complexities of public policies and their interface with the private sector.
Matthew Kirk, formerly of Access Financial Markets, spent nearly two decades in the fixed-income banking service industry; filling roles such as Senior Vice President, Director of Business Development and Managing Director. In each position, he worked with both public and private entities to arrange financings which met each entity’s goals, whether for improvements or new infrastructure.
Whatever the role, Matthew Kirk of Access Financial Markets takes his leadership role seriously. He navigates complex financial and policy issues to assist clients reach their goals. Matthew Kirk, formerly of Access Financial Markets, knows that healthcare is undergoing major changes. Matthew Kirk, formerly of Access Financial Markets, plans to continue to advocate for the appropriate use of Alternative Risk Transfer programs.
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