"We are testing a full-service broker model in some of our Phoenix offices this year," CEO William Cobb told attendees at the conference.
According to Mark Ciaramitaro, Block's VP of Healthcare Services, the test provides the same kinds of services at retail that the company is offering through its alliance with GoHealth. Under that program, Block uses its marketing to drive leads to GoHealth insurance services through online, call center and retail enrollment. Block utilizes its branded version of the GoHealth insurance platform and splits commissions with its partner.
In the retail test, Block is providing what Ciaramitaro describes as certified and trained health professionals in the Phoenix offices. It is also using the company's entire array of marketing tools, along with referring leads generated from the Emerald Advance program.
"Consumers are seeking a trusted retail brand like Block to provide face-to-face enrollment services," he says. In fact, Block sees the requirements of the Affordable Care Act as potentially driving tax business to its stores. It anticipates the law may push consumers from DIY preparation to seeking assistance.