Today, Commonwealth and the Center for Health Experience Design (CHXD) announced the winners of their design & innovation challenge, who answered the question: Can you design an innovation to improve the health insurance open enrollment experience so that it protects the financially vulnerable from hardship? The goal of the challenge was to address the fact that medical expenses are the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US, and one of the factors that is increasingly contributing to financial insecurity is health expenses.
Prize 1: Best Open Enrollment Solution
The first prize category addresses the issue of enrollment - focusing on the design of materials/tools employees encounter during the open enrollment process itself, including choice overload, sense of helplessness to make an informed decision between plan options, difficulty comparing tradeoffs between premium and deductible, and making sense of opaque plan descriptions.
Prize 1 Winner: Plan Picker 2018, Team Meercats
Team Meercats created an app called Plan Picker to empower employees to select the most appropriate health plan based on their needs and preferences. Employees complete a questionnaire about medical use, financial assets, and risk tolerance; this information directs employees to the plan that best fits their health and financial needs. Plan Picker also screens users for Medicaid eligibility. Post-enrollment support features within the app include a deductible calculator, a prescription drug price checker, and a doctor visit co-pay estimator. Educational videos explain key healthcare terms, explain how to use an HSA, and introduce users to “employees like you” and the decision-making processes that they went through to help guide plan selection.
Prize 2: Best Ongoing Support After Open Enrollment
Successful entries for best ongoing support after open enrollment needed to address issues around how the employee interacts with their chosen health plan throughout the year. This may include resources to support financial literacy, usability of the health plan and related components, e.g., EOB, FSA, HSA, and building understanding of individual needs before the next open enrollment period.
Prize 2 Winner: General WHealth, CareCollective
CareCollective designed an app called General WHealth that helps people take ownership of their HSAs. Referencing the design and functionality of a banking app, General WHealth features a “virtual HSA card” that gives users instant access to their HSA funds for online, in-person, or phone-based purchases (through Apple Pay and Google Play integration). General WHealth divides its reporting pages into past use, current status, and future projections, presenting data-heavy reports with easy-to-read guidance and statistics. Educational resources are accessed through the app’s library or a Help icon that pops up to explain account management features.
Click here to learn more about the challenge, winners, and other entrants.