In 2013, the government launched HealthCare.gov to help millions of uninsured Americans secure healthcare coverage. Unfortunately, the system wasn’t prepared for the sheer volume of users during open enrollment. Reports came flooding in from everywhere: people were unable to create new accounts, compare plans, or learn if they qualified for financial assistance. Something had to be done, and fast.
Overseeing the project was CMS, or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They needed a secure, efficient computer environment capable of scaling to handle extreme fluctuations in web traffic—especially during open enrollment. To tackle this, CMS deployed a tiger team to migrate crucial portions of the website to the cloud.
For an agency historically reliant on traditional data centers, this was game-changing. And only empowered them to expand further. With our strategic partnership with AWS, GDIT was chosen to manage the new cloud environment. From there, we were able to quickly deploy improved applications, scaling up or down without the need to over-invest in infrastructure, and actively defend against security threats. All the while ensuring HealthCare.gov remained a seamless experience for Americans.
The cloud gets agile.
The move to the cloud didn’t just address CMS’s current problem, it addressed future problems, too. CMS now had the ability to test and refine new systems before pushing them live. Improved visibility into system performance meant entire systems could now be modified and updated quickly in response to any business requirement. Something that would have been impossible before cloud services.
The success of GDIT’s IaaS∞ operations has now prompted CMS to roll out its newest project, Plan Compare 2.0: providing HealthCare.gov users an even more efficient way to compare health plans, quickly and comprehensively.
The sky’s the limit.
The cloud has revolutionized how CMS does business. Now the agency can focus on the outcomes they want to achieve and leverage their cloud framework to make it happen. Quickly developing shared services across the entire organization, streamlining systems, maximizing efficiency. We continue to maintain the agency’s cloud-based systems to this day, growing beyond HealthCare.gov to manage a portfolio of enterprise-scale websites, including Medicare.gov and the agency’s own CMS.gov.
"We just skipped the step of virtualizing altogether and moved right to the cloud. Moving to the cloud was a huge advancement, which helped CMS reduce complexity, gain agility, and save budget… It’s a success, so let’s do more of that—not less."
Jon Booth Director of Web and New Media Group at CMS