Tax planners H&R Block join healthcare innovation challenge trend

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aheadA global healthcare innovation challenge, marking tax planners H&R Block’s first foray into healthcare, seeking out companies with disruptive healthcare tools across mobile, Web-based and social media technology to help consumers manage their health is nearing its application deadline of Jan. 31.

H&R Block is holding the challenge with early business incubator and startup accelerator Think Big Partners.

The Hackovate Health challenge is seeking entries that are geared to helping consumers manage their health insurance options and navigate the post-Affordable Care Act landscape. Among the focus areas are:

  • Tools to help families and individuals make informed decisions about their health insurance options
  • Improving communication between consumers and insurers
  • Budgeting tools for health insurance
  • Helping people understand the tax implications of their health insurance decisions

As the Affordable Care Act is rolled out, people who are not covered by insurance plans with work will have to buy a policy themselves. H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb said technology innovation could help consumers address financial decisions the roll out of the new healthcare law will pose, according to the website.


As part of a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield, H&R Block customers sorting out their tax returns with the tax planners this spring will be asked if they want to learn about their health insurance options.

From the submissions, 10 finalists will be selected and present their solutions at a demo day scheduled for Feb. 26 in Kansas City, Missouri. The top prizes run from $2,500 to $15,000. Although the competition is open to non-U.S. companies, they have to be able to make it to the demo day.

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Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for She enjoys covering healthcare startups across health IT, drug development and medical devices and innovations deployed to improve medical care. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has worked across radio, print and video. She's written for The Christian Science Monitor, Dow Jones & Co. and United Business Media.
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