Imagine being laid off from work and having no health insurance. They are so expensive but wait – there’s a new avenue for great insurance at good prices. Healthcare.gov was the most complex and powerful projects I ever had worked on.
So much publicity and in the news and not for “positive” reasons but yet it was the most fulfilling experience of my career. The results bears it: 20 M Americans have gained health insurance via the Affordable Care Act. In 2017, almost 9 M signups were made via the Healthcare.gov site.
Because of my technology background, I represented the core office leading the whole ACA effort and the policy/regulatory folks in it. I worked closely with Ed Mullen, IDEO, and the CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) Communications staff. Ed detailed the experience quite well here. My focus was on the front-end: trying to make the experience easy for consumers to fill out the online application, provide their information to determine whether they qualify for discounts, tax subsidies, or be referred to Medicaid, see a list of appropriate health plans for them to select from, and then finally enroll in one of the plans offered by various insurance companies in our marketplace.
The team came up with the the concept piece – concept-map-v3-1-071613-draft which describe how consumers would navigate the web site. At launch, there were issues but I worked nights and weekends with the team and a whole lot of other folks to troubleshoot the site. My area of focus was on the enrollment end making sure proper data was sent to the issuers.
In the end, I gained deeper skills in product management, user experience, design thinking, user research, user testing, policy/regulations, and project management.
What a ride!