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Improving customer experience (CX) is a key consideration in digital transformation for federal agencies. Consumers who order food delivery with a mobile app and look up their bank balances online expect the same convenience when they interact with a government agency.

The federal government has responded to such demands in recent years by offering various services via web interfaces and, increasingly, mobile apps that extend the availability of services even further.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has joined the movement with “What’s Covered,” a new app that lets people with original Medicare plans, caregivers and others quickly see whether Medicare covers a specific medical item or service.

The app launch is part of CMS’s eMedicare initiative, launched last year, which seeks to make information available across multiple digital platforms, not just the web. Given that, over the next few years, the number of people eligible for Medicare is expected to rise from 55 million to more than 80 million, now is the time to ramp up the infrastructure and expertise needed to meet their information demands.

The “What’s Covered” app makes it easier for beneficiaries to find the information they need, especially when they are on-the-go or offline, thus fulfilling CX improvement goals.

CMS is taking a proactive approach to improving the app, launching a Spanish-language version less than two months after the original release. Further, the agency is evaluating feedback from users and organizations such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to understand how to enhance the mobile experience in future iterations.

The “What’s Covered” app is not the only innovation to come out of the eMedicare initiative. Among other efforts, CMS has:

  • Improved online decision support to help people understand and compare Medicare coverage options while choosing a plan
  • Added a new service to quickly show beneficiaries how coverage choices will affect their out-of-pocket expenses
  • Launched new price transparency tools to allow cost comparisons between various healthcare settings―for example, the cost of a hospital outpatient department versus an ambulatory surgical center
  • Debuted a new web chat option in the Medicare Plan Finder
  • Implemented new surveys across to gather feedback from the public

CMS, along with other agencies making services available on mobile apps, are aligned with the fourth Cross-Agency Priority Goal in the President’s Management Agenda. Titled, “Improving Customer Experience with Federal Services,” the CAP Goal lists improving digital services and modernizing the customer experience as primary strategies.

Read more about this topic in our fact sheet, “Customer Experience in a Digital Government.”


About this author

Laura Getz

Laura Getz

Director, Consulting Services

Laura joined CGI Federal in 2017 after a 25-year history of successful executive business leadership in program and technology management. At CGI, she served as program director overseeing a major agency’s transition to a new IT support services contract. She has also provided management consulting ...

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