Guiding a Health Care Leader Through a Digital Transformation

When the health care reform law was signed in April 2010, Highmark was positioned to drive, and stay ahead of, the changes impacting the health care industry.

Since then, MAYA has helped Highmark digitally transform; becoming more consumer-centric, and establishing a plan for a post-health-care-reform world. It started with designing a strategic vision for how Highmark could improve its customers’ experience with health insurance, and progressed into tactical efforts that support the different touchpoints — digital, physical and personal — in a consumer’s journey. Through this long-term collaborative relationship with MAYA, Highmark continues to refine its vision and establish itself as an industry leader.


Products & Services

User Research
Design Language
Analysis & Insight
UX Design

Connecting a strategic vision to the consumer.

Highmark Overview Chart showing how MAYA has worked with Highmark for several years, with projects ranging from strategic to tactical. Strategy Execution

Shift to Consumer Centric

Craft a vision of the future by setting long-term goals for the consumer experience and building a roadmap to meet that vision

MAYA helped a giant health care organization become more user-centric.

Shifting to a Consumer-Centric Vision

As health insurance changed from a business-to-business industry to one of consumer choice, MAYA worked with Highmark on strategic and tactical projects to create industry-leading customer experiences. As part of our deep organizational engagement, we advised leaders, coached teams, and collaborated with Highmark to develop sound design solutions supported through technology.

MAYA initially conducted a deep dive to understand consumer experiences with health insurance and related industries (like banking). We talked to consumers, posed as secret shoppers and assessed Highmark’s communications. The resulting insights drove the design of a consumer experience strategy that spanned each facet of Highmark’s business — from product design, to member services and marketing channels.

Building a shared vision through storytelling.

MAYA used storyboard sketches to demonstrate the future consumer experience and gain buy-in from Highmark teams to identify a path forward.

Empowering Consumers With Information

One key to the future of health insurance is the pervasive transparency of information that empowers people to take control of their health care. MAYA worked with Highmark to create a system for delivering both printed and digital access to health information to help consumers make sense of their coverage.

A full audit of Highmark’s available data revealed that the organization was uniquely able to align the health information that people manage — from insurance coverage, to doctors, to payments and health-savings account claims. MAYA helped Highmark create a holistic view of health care with monthly health statements, which enabled consumers to navigate through, and make sense of, their explanation of benefits to make more informed decisions.

Health statements delivered through web, mobile and print.

With expanded access to benefits:


users now manage their insurance online

$5 million

projected first-year savings once printed statements are implemented

Building a Consistent and Scalable Brand

To bring consistency and coherence across the many people, agencies, departments and leaders responsible for making Highmark’s vision a reality for consumers, MAYA created a design language system for member communications. We built an architecturally-based digital brand that included a responsive grid system, a modular information system, and consistent interaction and layout patterns across digital and print properties.

A progressive disclosure interaction where an expand-and-collapse mechanism presents users with detailed levels of content.

MAYA also created an online resource to house and show practical applications for the brand patterns. This helped reinforce Highmark’s design principles. Teams now have access to code and brand assets that can be used across projects and refined as their needs evolve.

Educating People about Health Care Reform

Few consumers understand how health insurance works, and almost none knew how they would be impacted by health care reform. To help Highmark address this awareness gap in a rapidly evolving market, MAYA created short video animations to explain a new world of shopping for health insurance.

MAYA also designed and developed, a dynamic website to educate the public and arm consumers with the information needed to make the best insurance buying decisions. What started as an educational microsite, has evolved into a useful resource for group purchasers and Highmark’s primary consumer point-of-entry for health insurance shopping.

Since the launch of

2.3 million

site visits


of visitors use tax savings calculator

Tax Savings Calculator

One specific educational tool that MAYA built was a subsidy calculator to help consumers understand their savings based on government subsidies. Prior to the Federal Insurance Marketplace launch in 2013, we created a complex algorithm using health plan pricing across regional ZIP codes (Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware), and packaged it in a simple user interface.

With the subsidy calculator, consumers were able to compare multiple scenarios and use cases to find the most cost-effective plan to fit their needs. It took seconds to calculate and provide consumers with a confident shopping experience.

As the health care industry continues to evolve, Highmark is positioned to better serve consumers and grow its business by designing solutions focused on the customer experience.

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