Healthfirst: Providing millions of New Yorkers with health insurance enrollment information during a global health emergency

PA Consulting explain how they worked to support Healthfirst's digital transformation - meaning those in need can continue to secure vital health coverage
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By PA Consulting

16 Mar 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes markets, businesses everywhere are leveraging digital channels to make interactions with customers safer. In the US health insurance sector, Healthfirst is leading the way. To drive growth, we’ve supported them on their digital transformation. We developed a new online ‘front door’ for the insurer to replace the face-to-face events it usually runs to enroll new members. The new site provides information about affordable plan options and connects prospective members to online appointment scheduling and remote enrollment options. This new digital channel means Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) eligible individuals, including those made unemployed because of the pandemic, can continue to secure vital health coverage through difficult times.

Key Successes:

  • laid the foundations for a sophisticated online platform that will position Healthfirst as the digital leader in its market
  • deployed a mix of leading design, development and digital expertise to accelerate delivery against a hard deadline
  • allowed thousands of Medicare-eligible New Yorkers to continue to secure health coverage despite pandemic disruption
  • digitized the front door of the business in just six weeks

Accelerating a New Digital Channel to Healthcare 

Approximately 1.5 million people depend on Healthfirst for affordable health insurance, including plans for individuals with low incomes, Medicare-eligible individuals, and employer sponsored plans. Healthfirst is the largest not-for-profit health insurer in New York State.

To enroll new members, Healthfirst traditionally engages with prospects in person at community events and field offices. Here, representatives can walk prospective members through their options and help them complete the enrollment process. But the pandemic meant face-to-face engagement was no longer possible – and it was unclear when it would resume.

Meanwhile, with the pandemic driving unemployment and people losing health coverage through their jobs, access to affordable health coverage was more vital than ever. Healthfirst needed a new way for potential members to discover their plan options and enroll in the right plan. In a rapid six-week engagement, we designed and built a brand-new digital portal that does just this.

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