As of 2020, more than 62 million people, or about 19 percent of the entire US population, rely on Medicare for healthcare coverage. Most are over the age of 65 and/or living with disabilities, and about 19 percent of Medicare beneficiaries—more than 12 million people—have online Medicare accounts.
Nava, alongside partner Oddball, set out with the goal of helping people make informed decisions about their healthcare through a secure, seamless, and personal digital experience. That’s why we created Medicare Authenticated Experience (MAX).
Previously, Medicare beneficiaries had to navigate more than seven websites, each with their own structure, to find information—like pricing for prescriptions, how to schedule a doctor’s appointment, or make a copay—about their healthcare. We worked to unify these disparate websites into a single Medicare experience so that beneficiaries are able to sign in to one place and find all of their healthcare details.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) knows they can use the data they have to give beneficiaries a more personal experience. So, we built a new message center that provides beneficiaries information about their health and their Medicare accounts. For example, in the new message center we crafted a series of messages that provide feedback to beneficiaries that use Medicare Easy Pay, a service for automatically paying their premiums. With the new experience, when a change is made to a beneficiary’s Easy Pay, they get a message and email informing them of the change and letting them know if there are any additional things for them to do. We’ll use data to both deliver new messages and track how effective they are.
While much of our work improves the experience for Medicare beneficiaries, we’re also helping to improve CMS’s ability to adapt and respond to beneficiaries’ needs. As one example: With the new message center, CMS will be able to issue both personally and broadly relevant messages across their ecosystem of webpages—from one place.
When major events—global (say, a pandemic) or personal (emergency surgery)—happen, CMS can act quickly and ensure their beneficiaries have the information they need, when they need it. Global messages can be shared via prominent banners across all Medicare pages. And personal messages can be sent directly to beneficiaries.
To prioritize a quick pace over perfection, we worked iteratively, making small improvements to test, track their performance, and improve upon them. As a first step on this project, we designed a new header with a navigation that accommodates all of the information from Medicare’s previous websites. The new header gives beneficiaries a more consistent experience and helps them understand where, exactly, they are on a Medicare website.
After rolling out the new header, we tested and measured its efficacy in the MyMedicare (account management) site. Once we knew that beneficiaries could find the info they needed, in partnership with Oddball, we supported incorporating this header into all eMedicare properties. Now whether beneficiaries are finding a care provider, browsing Medicare plans, or paying their premiums, they have a consistent navigation experience to find where they need to go next.
To accomplish the updates to Medicare Easy Pay, we designed a new message center, built an API to manage the data, and created the strategy and content for personalized messages.
After launching the message center, in partnership with Oddball, a product manager at CMS told us, "I love the new Message Center, it's light years better than what we had before."
We were thrilled to hear the feedback, but we also hope this is just the beginning of increasingly better services and outcomes for both CMS staff and Medicare beneficiaries.
This case study appears in Nava's 2020 Public Benefit Report.