Exploring Our Problem Space


Who are the players in this field? What’s their current relationship?

Interviews with members, employers, providers, and others working in this space provided great insights into the current world of healthcare and insurance.

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How can we increase trust in Highmark?

Based on Highmark’s identity, we used abstraction laddering to understand the building blocks of trust. Once we had the paths to trust, we storyboarded and speed dated to validate these needs.

Paths to Trust
Six concepts to increase trust
Insights on what WEAKENS trust

“This feels like Orwellian creepy voluntary privacy infringement. I don’t know how relevant it is toward trust to health insurance.”

“I don’t want insurance to record my private doctor’s appointment, they’d use it against me.”

“This would at least help me feel prepared for the situation and not caught off guard, but doesn’t increase trust.”

Insights on what LEADS to trust

“This one actually increases trust. Because you are giving me opinions of regular people.”

“This would increase trust because I like to be in control. For example, with UberEats, although I know the food is coming, I still want to see where it is.”

How might we give insurees control to manage cost when they need it?


Where can we give insurees control during the journey?

We broke down the member care journey and ideated solutions that focused on different steps. We wanted to learn where members found the most difficulty interacting with insurance, and where an intervention could have the greatest impact. We tested these ideas with a wide range of users to narrow to our final solution concept.

Financial Health Planner

A part itinerary, part scheduler intended to provide a roadmap of health, while also planning for the cost of care. It visualizes recommended medical tests and their associated cost.

“It would be empowering to take away the guesswork”

“I will recommend this to my kids so that they can plan ahead”

Cost Scale

A website that allows insurees to find healthcare providers that best fit their needs while giving them greater transparency into the cost of care and people’s feedback on the care.

“I wouldn’t use this, I’d ask family doctors if they have referrals first”


A chatbot to clarify questions about members’ bills and explanation of benefits (EOB), reconcile discrepancies between a user’s bill and explanation of benefits, and connect users to the relevant customer service department when required.

“The only reason I’d go to the chatbot is because I want to talk to an actual person in the end”

AskMarc and CostScale fight fires.

Financial Health Planner can help members avoid the fire in the first place

CostScale and AskMarc make incremental improvements to an inherently stressful journey...

... whereas Financial Health Planner fundamentally changes that journey by intervening before a health event.


Financial Health Planner!

Based on all of our research, the Financial Health Planner made the most compelling case for our final concept! Here’s why:

It spoke to users’ interest in their own health
People were  eager to engage with preventive care, which can help them catch warning signs before it’s too late.

Highmark liked the novelty and the business benefit
Motivating people to go to a Primary Care Physician was a novel problem space for Highmark and it saves everyone money in the long-term.

We liked the health benefits it could bring to thousands of people
Our team was personally passionate about this solution because it could help Highmark’s members monitor their health and catch harmful conditions before it’s too late.