Big QuestionsOur work related to complex challenges.

The Challenge

Lead the design in California’s health insurance enrollment website.


A 300-page design manual and design reference prototype.

Forty million Americans became newly eligible for health coverage when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was fully implemented in 2014. Some enrolled in health insurance for the first time, while others were able to get better access to affordable health coverage.

In preparation for the millions of applications, states were required to develop ways for people to sign up for health insurance online for plans that were operated by state and federal governments under the ACA. To help public and private agencies to meet the requirements, a coalition of nine national and state-based foundations, led by the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) developed a digital enrollment prototype, and hired IDEO to lead the consumer research and design effort.

After a yearlong collaborative process, the resulting 300-page design manual and design reference prototype illustrates a customizable approach to public and private health insurance enrollment.

The flexible set of design standards developed for Enroll UX 2014 aims to make online health insurance enrollment simple, intuitive, and easy to navigate at scale.

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