How States Launched Successful Health Exchanges

Joseph Marks | Nextgov | November 1, 2013

In the second half of August, six weeks before rollout, the best tech minds building Washington D.C.’s Health Benefit Exchange gathered to test the system end to end.

This wasn’t the first testing the system had undergone. Contractors and employees had spent much of the past several months combining different parts of the system for load testing and stress testing, adding updates to different components as they became available.

At one point, there were between nine and 11 testing environments running simultaneously, the exchange’s executive director Mila Kofman said.

It was six weeks before launch, though, when the full system came together and the exchange staff began to see how it ran.

“Essentially, most of my office, the folks who are the experts here, we sent them to our IT site to be there all day, every day testing the portal for functionality,” Kofman said. “We wanted to make sure it worked the way we wanted it to work and that it did what we said it did.”