When the DC Exchange experienced difficulties with its legacy systems, IdeaCrew and the DC Exchange staff worked together to co-design a brand new, built-to-purpose solution. The people who knew best what the system had to do had full authority to identify business requirements and prioritize functionality. There was no waiting months or years for “the next version” of the software to be deployed. Instead, the system was deployed, sprint-by-sprint, over 7 months.

Five core principles drove this unique government/vendor partnership:

  • Simple user interface. The new system had to make it easier for customers to shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.
  • Perfect back-end functionality. The new system had to work not only for customers, but for the Exchange staff, brokers, assisters, and carriers who had to operate within this new Marketplace ecosystem.
  • No disruption to Medicaid. The new system would have to integrate seamlessly with the District’s legacy Medicaid systems, so as not to disrupt them in any way.
  • Cost savings. The new system had to advance the Exchange on its path to sustainability.
  • Technology as an asset. The partnership’s technology solution would have to be a government asset, not costly licensed private technology.
  • No downtime. There could be no system downtime for maintenance.

The verdict? A 100% solution that is true to all of these principles, delivered on time and on budget.

DC has a state-of-the-art, open source code solution hosted in the AWS cloud. The end-to-end enrollment process can be completed in 7 screens, in less than 5 minutes. The system has been in continuous operation since November 1, 2015. It has never gone down. It was deployed with zero impact on Medicaid and integrates seamlessly with the legacy Medicaid systems. There are extensive administrative tools for Exchange staff and third-party stakeholders (brokers, assisters, and carriers). Operating costs have gone down, allowing the Exchange to reduce the assessment it charges carriers by 10%. DC has won two Amazon City on the Cloud Innovation Awards (2016 winners and 2018 winners), and been featured in an AWS case study.