Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Creating a “First-Class” User Experience for Insurance Exchanges

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

July 27, 2011


Outside New York State






The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires states to either establish their own health insurance exchange as the single point of entry for consumers to shop for and enroll in health care plans, or join a federal exchange.

Exchanges will allow individuals and employers to compare the public and subsidized private health insurance options available in their geographic area. A simple, user-friendly way for consumers to understand and navigate the exchanges will be key to helping millions enroll nationwide; in New York State alone, at least 1.2 million uninsured residents are expected to gain cover under federal health reform. To meet this challenge, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) participated in a project to support Enroll UX 2014, a design for a state-of-the-art online tool to assist consumers with identifying eligibility, selecting a plan, and enrolling in health insurance. In collaboration with eight of the nation’s top health funders, NYHealth awarded a grant to the Tides Center to serve as fiscal sponsor to IDEO; IDEO was awarded a contract to undertake the development of the Enroll UX front-end design.

The work will be conducted in five phases that align with Federal timelines for getting exchanges up and running: 1) Conduct qualitative research to understand the needs and desires of target users as they flow in and out of the enrollment process; 2) Translate and synthesize research collected during Phase 1 into design principles; 3) Design information architecture and develop key user flows for the enrollment process; 4) Refine the design by creating functional prototypes that let users interact with a “like real” site; and 5) Develop the programming resources that state and Federal users could use to efficiently tie the design into respective systems.