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William Cobb, H&R BlockH&R Block is conducting a test of selling health insurance in its stores in the Phoenix, Ariz. The test is part of a wide ranging set of healthcare services discussed earlier this month when executives of the tax preparation chain held an investor's day that covered the company's plans for 2014.

"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.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014
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