Healthcare insurer delivers streamlined next-generation digital experience

“We regularly hear from Members, Providers, Employers and Brokers about how much they love using the newly built sites. Liferay and XTIVIA enabled a whole new level of experience for all our stakeholders, and we look forward to broadening that experience in the future.”

Timothy Schwab, Vice President Consumer Technology, Excellus BCBS


Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) of Rochester is upstate New York’s largest nonprofit health plan, providing health insurance to nearly 1.5 million members and employing around 4,000 New Yorkers. Excellus chose Liferay DXP to create a seamless self-service experience for its plan members, Medicare members, providers, employers, brokers and internal users.


  • Execute a large-scale migration for a health insurer with 1.5 million members that included 18 sites, 100+ portlets, complex security, content, personalization requirements, and more
  • Replace an aging IBM WebSphere Portal web and content management platform for external and internal facing applications
  • Provide seamless integration between legacy and third-party enterprise applications and simplify content delivery


  • MODERN WEB INTERFACE – A modern, consistent web UI/UX for all members, providers, brokers, employers, and staff
  • COST/EFFICIENCY BENEFIT – 65% reduction in software costs and significant improvement in content development workflow
  • INTEGRATION STABILITY – Integration with existing legacy and 3rd-party apps and elimination of legacy mainframe interfaces

Battling the Complexity of Aging Web and Content Management Platforms

Operating as a BlueCross BlueShield franchise and as Univera Healthcare in Western New York, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is upstate New York’s largest nonprofit health plan. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Excellus is part of a $6 billion family of companies that finances and delivers health care services across upstate New York and long-term care insurance nationwide. Collectively, Excellus provides health insurance to nearly 1.5 million members and employs about 4,000 New Yorkers.

The company’s guiding principles include providing members a simple, secure, confident and compassionate customer experience. To live up to those principles, Excellus needed to deliver an intuitive and content-rich online experience, as well as the information, tools, and content its staff and providers need to deliver an exceptional level of care and support. However, Excellus was constrained by an aging IBM WebSphere Portal web and content management platform for delivering external and internal facing web applications, which greatly limited the functional capabilities IT and the business could provide.

“The existing systems were old and costly to use and maintain, with a complex development environment, and an overall lack of integration between our web, back-end, and content management applications,” said Timothy Schwab, Vice President Consumer Technology at Excellus BCBS. “We needed a solution that integrates all these pieces, with an intuitive, robust interface for content creation and management, secure, flexible, role-based access management, and the ability to personalize the experience for any member, provider, or staff.”

Excellus executed a dual RFP process to find both the ideal technology platform and partner to assist with the implementation of its new portal and content management initiative. After evaluating numerous options, it selected Liferay DXP as the platform of choice based on its rich set of core components including page creation, site look and feel, web content management, personalization, remote publishing, and more. The selection team then chose Liferay Platinum Partner XTIVIA based on its track record of successful Liferay implementation projects.

“Liferay and XTIVIA brought the most to the table when choosing a platform and a detailed execution plan with minimal risks,” said Schwab. “Liferay DXP provided a solid foundation with a lot of flexibility for Excellus to use for many years to come, and XTIVIA’s technical implementation approach was critical since the project involved multiple tracks across multiple sites to support over a dozen different user groups.”

Delivering a New Digital Experience for Members and Teams

The project was one of the largest and most ambitious technology programs Excellus had ever undertaken and had visibility at all levels. The scope covered both Excellus BCBS and Univera brands, each of which involved six major sites—Member, Medicare Member, Provider, Employer, Broker and Internal—with content creation and management for each.

The project approach would be a combination of “lift-and shift” and new development to support numerous new UI/UX requirements. The Excellus team developed detailed requirements for a modern look-and-feel with mobile-responsive behavior consistent across all the sites, a new Information Architecture and application flow, redesigned portlets, and much more. They also developed detailed screen requirements which could be handed off to the XTIVIA development team before each sprint.

The new portals provide a consistent, streamlined UI/UX for all users. A typical Excellus or Univera plan member can now log into their personalized Member Dashboard, review their plan information, their current and historical spending, claim statements, and explanations-of-benefits. They can search for an in-network Doctor, Provider or Facility and leverage the cost estimation tool to understand their costs for specific procedures.

They can also view relevant, personalized content that is easily created, managed, and targeted via Liferay DXP’s content management capabilities. Other internal and external users log into portals with a consistent look-and-feel but with content and portlets appropriate to their individual roles. For example, providers use the Provider Portal to check eligibility and benefits for members, to request pre-authorization, and to submit claims.

Attaining the Guiding Principles of Excellus Customer Experience

After only 18 months working with Liferay and XTIVIA, Excellus celebrated a successful on-time launch that met its core program objectives.

“Liferay provides the modern foundation on which we can build, maintain and grow our multiple sites, content, and applications.”

Timothy Schwab, Vice President Consumer Technology, Excellus BCBS

As a bonus, Schwab said Liferay DXP empowered his team to also deliver on the four guiding principles of the Excellus Customer Experience.

Easy – Liferay simplified and improved the content development workflow considerably with dragand- drop WYSIWYG functionality, templated items and pages, and pre-installed servers and tools

Secure – Liferay’s content management system reduced risk to the Excellus live website, using modern browsers to make changes, and reducing QA, release, and security concerns by localizing content changes

Flexible – Liferay facilitated a process for Medicare AEP and Open Enrollment updates using a single responsive theme while increasing flexibility with features like Dynamic Data Lists

Personal – Liferay tools allowed Excellus to deliver a more personalized, dynamic, and engaging experience to its customers

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