Plan Advisor

My Role

UI Developer – Implemented initial Plan Advisor

Support Designer – Created and implemented client customized designs,

Enhancement Designer – Helped design cost estimator enhancement

The Problem

Health insurance is confusing. Consumers don’t understand what is right for them. They also aren’t confident the plan they chose is the best fit. There are many options when searching for a plan that is right for you, but many consumers don’t have time to do research. Many consumers feel that insurance companies are untrustworthy.

The Goal

De-mystify health insurance purchasing by helping consumers understand the factors in choosing coverage at the time of purchase, eliminating the need to do research. Help consumers choose the right heath insurance coverage for their situation by “getting to know the consumer”. Help consumers feel confident in their purchasing decisions by explaining how their answers to questions relate to the recommended coverage.


The initial research done for this project consisted of identifying the major factors that affected which plan was the closest match. These included premium and deductible cost, anticipated costs like having a baby, and age and family makeup. These factors eventually made up the first set of questions asked to the user.

Design Discovery

Once we understood the major factors we looked at how companies were taking complex topics and simplifying them. We got inspiration from places like Intuit’s Turbo Tax software. Turbo Tax solved the problem of navigating the tax space in such a way that made it simple for an average person to file their taxes accurately. We decided that a questionnaire scoring the main factors and any additional questions an insurance company may ask was our approach.

Customization Challenges

Plan Advisor wasn’t just for a single insurance carrier. We needed to think about scalability. How do we allow for differences in the question set as well as branding for each of our clients?

The main challenge was solving the “I don’t want to look like every other Connecture Plan Advisor”. To accomplish this, the design team operated like a mini agency, consulting with each client to provide a unique experience for each client.

To solve the challenge of customizing the questions based on carrier and state, we used a combination of XML configuration and consulted with each client to understand their needs and order of importance.

The combination of these two solutions allowed the clients to truly customize the user experience, while satisfying their business needs.


Once we had our solution implemented with a few clients, we looked to gain insights and improve the user experience. We implemented a send feedback enhancement to gather this insight. From questions like, “What other information would help you better understand if a plan is right for you?” we found out that people weren’t just looking for what plan was right, they were looking at what they could afford. This balance between what was ideal and what was affordable was the real driving factor if a customer purchased a particular plan.

Cost Estimator Enhancement

To solve the problem of ideal vs. affordable, we needed a way to not only see true cost of a plan, but the ability to allow people to enter their numbers on doctor visits, prescriptions, etc.. This is where our cost estimator tool was born. The cost estimator did the math for the consumer. They could see the changes in real time, and got an accurate picture of real costs. This helped provide the consumer the knowledge needed to find the right plan at the right price.