Model for insurance exchange looks very similar to any ecommerce marketplace – Browse, Compare, and Purchase. Likes of Expedia, Orbitz, and Amazon operate efficiently at much larger scale with similar model. Affordable Care Act looks at a few basic factors like age, income etc. to offer health insurance discounts to customers. This is not much different from Amazon offering discounts based on factors like customer’s buying patterns and purchases. Basic analytics is very similar. So what may have caused issues with HealthCare.gov?
It’s most likely bureaucracy & politics that prevails in government settings for getting work done. Bureaucracy and politics are among the biggest killers of innovation. Affordable Care Act is an innovative idea. But idea has little meaning if innovation stops at that level of idea generation and not extended to execution. Contract with CGI Federal to build HealthCare.gov is close to $290 million but did that bring comparable value at the launch. With support from senior goverment executives there are plenty of startups with innovative mindset that could have delivered better results at fraction of the contract cost.
With innovation in execution you will fail multiple times to learn from, to test your market, and to keep on going before it matters the most and when failure may lead to bigger and larger repercussions. In HealthCare.gov’s case it failed right at the launch.
Mantra is to be able to think outside the box but while staying within the boundaries of your box. That’s why creativity always goes with the innovative thinking..