Oscar Health —
Renewals Manager Platform

Oscar is a health insurance company based in New York City. With over 8 markets nationwide (and growing), they are always looking for ways to innovate and improve the healthcare experience. 

Our challenge: Renewing the health insurance of small businesses each year has always been done on paper. We were asked to replace this workflow with a digital version that was more optimized, efficient, and user-friendly.

Role
Senior Product Designer

Platform
Web

Timeline
8 months

Team
PM, 3 Front-End and 2 Back-End Engineers

Oscar-cover@1x

Strategy & Planning
Understanding our business

The department leads of Product Design, Engineering and Sales held a kick-off meeting to discuss the time and resources this would require. Furthermore, we would need to get it done within 8 months so that businesses could renew before the federal deadline. Here is why we did it:

Own the stack
Part of Oscar’s ethos is to “own the stack” and to have dominion over everything in our ecosystem. In keeping with this, it makes sense to keep building health insurance products that worked and were easy to use.

Build for expansion
With plans to move into to 5 new markets in 2019, it makes sense to invest in creating a tool that scales. Without it, we would have to process hundreds of paper forms and staff to handle a huge call volume. 

Increasing brand loyalty
Our competitors have built their own version of a renewals tool, with seemingly poor feedback from their users. This was an opportunity to get closer to our customers and build another tool in our ecosystem to make their lives easier.

Increase brand loyalty
Our competitors have built their own version of a renewals tool, with seemingly poor feedback from their users. This was an opportunity to get closer to our customers and build another tool in our ecosystem to make their lives easier.

Discovery & Research
Understanding our users

Our main user in this case were general agents. General agents (“GA”) are teams that process health insurance paperwork from brokers that sell Oscar insurance to small businesses. In other words, they deal with the nitty-gritty of renewals more than anyone.

We visited three of our top general agencies: PGP, FNA, and Savoy Associates. My team and I were able to observe their work environment, technology, and overall process. We sat with a few agents to learn what they do, how they feel, and what they’re looking for.

Key takeaway: speed and accuracy is crucial to the workflow of a general agent.

In-Person User Interviews

User interview with Zach Meyer and Lorrie Hughes, assistant general agents for Savoy Associates in Long Island, New York.

Oscar – Empathy Map@1x

Empathy Mapping

We learned very quickly about their goals and pain-points. Externalizing this knowledge helped get the entire team aligned on a deeper understanding of our users.

Oscar – Persona (GA)@1x

Persona Building

The research also gave us an opportunity to update our persona for general agents.

The research also gave us an opportunity to update our persona for general agents.

Definition & Brainstorming
Requirements, Userflows, and Wireframes

With our findings as a guideline, we began to writing requirements and mapping them out as user flows. Engineering vetted our ideas until we landed on solutions that worked with our backend infrastructure and projected timeline.

Through whiteboarding sessions, UI elements began to emerge in the form of paper sketches and low-fidelity wireframes. A few iterations later, we landed on a basic framework that would allow us to build screens and share them with a few of our users.

Oscar-Sketches@1x

Testing & Validation
Putting our ideas in front of users

Our first assumptions about what is easy and simple for users aren’t always right — so early testing was a priority. We built a prototype on our staging server for testing.

Next, we scheduled appointments to meet once more with general agents to run a usability test. We formulated a few hypotheses, identified goals, and went in with a task-based approach — having the agents perform a few basic functions in order to observe their behavior.

UsabilityTesting

After a full day of testing, we compiled our results into a spreadsheet and studied the answers. A few patterns began to emerge and we were able to draw a few conclusions:

Reduce steps
One complaint we heard was that renewals take too long to process. Anything Oscar could do to speed up this process would be a big win.

Ensure accuracy
GAs are solely responsible for the accuracy of the renewals. We should work to reduce any potential errors or incorrect submissions.

Increase confirmations
Something our prototype was missing was a confirmation / summary screen. GAs said this was crucial in order to align with stakeholders.

Visual Design
Merging brand and UI

After refining our userflow, we felt confident building out our final screens. Since Oscar’s branding and UI are a large part of what makes the company so beloved, we drew from that as often as we could.

Taking cues from our company style guide (courtesy of Maxwell Holoyoke-Hirsch) and elements from our UI pattern library (thank you Anthony Zhang), we were able to craft screens that felt cohesive with our other offerings and spoke to our brand.

Oscar-UISpan
Oscar-screen-fast

Fast
We created a “fast pass” flow, allowing the user to quickly submit a renewal and bypass other screens (if needed). 

Oscar-screen-helpful

Helpful
We incorporated tooltips, error states, and other safeguards to ensure accuracy and prevent common errors.


Helpful

We incorporated tooltips, error states, and other safegaurds to ensure accuracy and prevent common errors.

Oscar-screen-affriming

Affirming
We created print-friendly confirmation pages and emails for general agents to share with other stakeholders.


Affriming

We created print-friendly confirmation pages and emails for general agents to share with other stakeholders.

Results and Metrics
How our ideas performed in the wild

We launched successfully, just one week shy of our deadline. In 2018, our tool helped health brokers and general agents renew the health insurance of over 200+ businesses in New York City and Long Island.

Around 4-5 months later circled back with our original testing participants and other general agencies to see how things went. The overall response was positive, and performed well against our intial KPIs:

14


Minutes decreased per renewal
(when a company was set to renew as-is for the next year)

25


Percentage increase in daily completion 
(vs. renewals from other health insurance carriers)

12


Days to renew all Oscar groups in 
New York City and Long Island
(vs. the average of 3 weeks)

"Listen - the faster I hit my quota, the sooner I can go home and see my kids. Oscar helps me do that!"

"Listen - the faster I hit my quota, the sooner I can go home and see my kids. Oscar helps me do that!"


— MARY RIMBAUD, PGP


- MARY RIMBAUD, PGP

Conclusion and Next Steps
Reviewing our work and thinking ahead

It's always gratifying to understand users and build directly for them.  Our qualitative research yielded a deeper understanding - fueling a small team to get big results in a short amount of time.  

For the next iteration, I would love to see: 

A deeper QA process
We caught a few bugs after launch. A more realistic timeline would have ensured adequate QA resourcing.

More quantitative metrics
I hope the next iteration of this tool incorporates more tracking and analytics into the framework. Additionally,  the creation of A/B tests would be interesting to see.

Field demos and training
A larger effort to demo our tools to a wider audience would help increase brand sentiment and awareness.  Face time with users benefits everyone.

Äbeer Khalique 

Product design and creative strategy 
Based in New York City.