From Legacy to Automated Web App
Health Insurance Client Upgrades App to Leverage Changing Healthcare Landscape
In 2008 our client, a life and health insurance company was working with a legacy system where repetitive, mundane tasks needed to be completed by employees who were hired to do more highly skilled work. They had been providing affordable group benefits for decades, and had built their reputation on superior service and flexible plan designs. They came to Integrant when they needed a web-based enterprise system that was fully automated and completely customizable, and could manage the entire carrier process including:
- Plan details
- Rating systems
- Quoting systems
- Underwriting process
- Policy administration including billing and finance
- Agent management
The system needed to automate anything and everything that could be automated, and at the same time allow for the level of choice and customization that brokers and others required. The only functionality that did not need to be included in the system was claims administration. Although the client had an internal software development team, they had little to no experience architecting or building a solution like the one they knew they needed to remain competitive.
At various stages of the design and development phase, the Integrant team consisted of 10-15 team members. These included technical architects, SQL and .NET developers, QA engineers, and a project lead. The client and Integrant teams worked together to define project scope, functionality, screens and flows, and to perform requirements analysis and project design. During this phase we rotated among senior team members working on site with the client for 1-2 months at a time. This allowed the Integrant team to gain the business knowledge necessary to better understand how the system would be used and ensure that what was implemented would make sense for the users. Once the project moved into maintenance and enhancement mode, the team size decreased to 4 team members plus a project lead.
The project required 2.5 years to complete, plus 6 months for integration. The first phase of the project was completed after 6 months. Phase I linked to the legacy system and included system architecture design, building, testing, and roll-out. The fact that phase I linked to the legacy system simplified data conversion and allowed the migration throughout each phase of the project to be more holistic, organic, and fluid.
Because of the hyper automation of the custom-built system, the client was able to leverage and optimize the skills of its employees, and to take advantage of an ever-changing healthcare landscape.
In particular and with respect to the latter: the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. ObamaCare) resulted in health insurance exchanges opening on October 1, 2013, and writing policies that would go into effect Jan. 1., 2014. As a result, the client needed to pivot quickly to take advantage of business coming through federal plus multiple state exchanges. Because of the automated and customizable nature of the new system, the Integrant team was able to easily (within 2-3 months) complete the first phase of integration of their system with multiple exchanges in time for the first coverage year. This involved building interfaces and processes to handle business coming in from the exchanges, and allowing for flexibility in plan features and pricing to be competitive with other offerings on the exchanges.
Because the system handled PII (personally identifiable information), the Integrant team worked within an environment where no PII left the client servers in the client-based computer room. Some of the security features the team implemented included complex passwords, encryption at database, and auto-log offs after periods of inactivity to ensure safety of PII. The Integrant team followed all processes and protocols associated with HIPAA, though this was not necessary due to the fact that the team was not handling the claims portion of the system, which is the portion touching PHI (personal health information).
The client has been providing affordable group benefits to small and large employers for more than 40 years. Their legacy is built upon superior service and flexible plan designs serving states throughout the U.S.