Can H&R Block Make Health Reform Work?

Long before there was ObamaCare, my colleagues and I argued that H&R Block is an ideal organization to administer health insurance tax credits. The reason: almost all of H&R business these days is helping people get Earned Income Tax Credit “refunds.” Actually, the organization gives the “taxpayer” the money upfront and then files and cashes the IRS check when it arrives.

But withholding tax refunds is about the only way the IRS can enforce ObamaCare’s mandate. So the company is now considering how to help its clients enroll in Medicaid or in a plan sold on a health insurance exchange to avoid those withholds.

See Sarah Kliff’s blog on this issue.

Comments (10)

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  1. Studebaker says:

    It’s pretty bad (if not sad) when H&R Block is the key to making health reform work.

  2. Johanne says:

    Mixing tax credit organizations with health care mandates? I don’t know if many people would see that as an appelaing approach. Taxes refunds are already complicated and frustrating as they are, why bring health care policies into the mix?

  3. Patel says:

    I agree with Studebaker, it does not play out to be a good situation.

  4. Jack says:

    Well the lady on the commercial said she read the whole thing, so that must mean it’s both viable and effective…

    Trusting seasonal workers to make it work. Sounds suspiciously like the legislators who are responsible for this mess in the first place.

  5. Hoover says:

    I’m just excited that they’re holding on to Student returns. Cause we’re known for our vast wealth, and unassailably high levels of income.

    Good thing I’m middle class, so I can be crushed under the hypocrisy; I’d hate to miss out.

  6. Everett says:

    Actually it makes a lot of sense since 99% of the people filing the returns are using a short 1040 form. It has the added benefit of not hiring government workers with all the expense involved there. The employees that the government would have to hire wouild take a year to get up to speed on the forms whereas the tax preparation people already know the drill.

    It is the yellow book way of running the government and might actually come in under budget whereas with the government it would be a never ending escalation in cost.

  7. I need to go read the Kliff article but there’s a timeline problem. Signing up for Medicaid in march of 2015 won’t fix lack of compliance in 2014 and help the refund at all.

  8. Gabriel Odom says:

    Now we all wait for TurboTax to start offering health insurance advice.

  9. Patel says:

    This is a very interesting insight, I agree, there must be an organization that help us navigate through our health care. The health insurance agents suck at explaining to a patient how to navigate the market, I am speaking from personal experience here.

  10. Lawson says:

    Not sure there’s anything workable about this “reform”…as facts suggest.