Tax preparers drove Obamacare enrollment numbers

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Obamacare’s late surge in enrollment numbers may have been been driven by tax-preparing services that offered government-sponsored health care plans to all customers seeking help doing their taxes.

H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt Tax Services partnered with online insurance brokers GoHealth and GetInsured to steer customers toward Obamacare insurance plans after preparing their tax returns, it was announced in February. The two major tax preparers are collectively responsible for preparing more than 20 million U.S. tax returns per year, according to estimates.

Neither company, however, is saying how many people they helped enroll. Neither is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment on this story.

President Barack Obama is the top all-time recipient of campaign contributions from H&R Block employees and their family members and the fourth all-time recipient of campaign contributions from Jackson Hewitt employees and their family members.

“Do you have health insurance, and, if not, would you like to look at your coverage options under the Affordable Care Act?” Jackson Hewitt employees began asking customers up-front earlier this year.

This year’s tax filing deadline occurred on April 15. Two days later, Obama announced that enrollments had hit 8 million, athough the 8 million number was disputed by at least one independent expert.

Obamacare penalties for not having insurance are deducted from Americans’ next-year tax refunds if not paid within a year.

Jackson Hewitt prepares an estimated 2.2 million tax returns per year and H&R Block reported preparing 19.9 million U.S. tax returns for tax year 2007.

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