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Why We Invested: Decent

By Jillian Cohn, Advisor at Mouro Capital

September 16th - 2020

We are excited to back Nick, Richard, Molly, and the rest of the Decent team as they work to make health insurance affordable enough for the millions of Americans that are uninsured or paying too much. And with millions more filing for unemployment in the wake of COVID-19, Decent’s mission is more important than ever.

Why are so many Americans uninsured? The majority of individuals in the US either get health insurance through large employers or qualify for a government-subsidized plan (Medicare or Medicaid). But there are tens of millions of people who don’t fall into those categories, and therefore, cannot access affordable insurance; these are the people that Decent serves. 

At Mouro, we look to support founders who identify consumer trends that can redefine financial services, and we believe Nick and the Decent team will redefine health insurance. Nick encountered first-hand all of the issues that riddle our existing health insurance system–the lack of transparency, the outrageous costs, the misaligned incentives, and the massive population that this imperfect system leaves behind–which led Nick to build Decent. Of course, Nick is not the first person to recognize the opportunity to improve health insurance in America, nor is he the first to attack it. But his deep personal commitment to the problem, the team he has assembled at Decent to tackle it, and the approach they are pursuing has the potential to bring affordable, comprehensive, and high-quality care to those that could not previously access it.

The Market. Healthcare is one of the largest markets in the US, with annual spending reaching $3.6tn in 2018. This spend represents an eye-popping 18% of US GDP! In 2018, the private insurance market hit $1.2tn, representing more than one-third of healthcare spend, and that figure is expected to nearly double over the next decade. 

This spend does not even include the large swath of the US population–which totaled 28 million people in 2018–that are uninsured. Most of these people are self-employed or work for a small business that offers either no health insurance or prohibitively expensive plans. And sadly, with the COVID-related layoffs we’ve seen in recent months, this population is only growing. Many of the 53 million people who filed for unemployment insurance between March and July this year also lost their healthcare coverage. Successfully addressing the needs of this massive underserved market will create an enormous business.

The Team. Nick is hell-bent on making sure everyone gets the health care they deserve at prices they can afford, and his energy is contagious. He is a serial entrepreneur who has a knack for growth, and he has successfully scaled companies and products for both consumers and small businesses. Nick and Richard have previously built a company together and continued to work together for a period after its successful exit. As one of 5 former CEOS on the team, COO Richard brings strong technical expertise and a product background to the partnership. And Chief Health Plan Officer Molly’s 24 years of healthcare experience working for providers, plans, and investors back up her LinkedIn title of “Formidable Healthcare Nerd.”

Nick, Richard, and Molly knew that what they wanted to achieve was tough and that they couldn’t do it alone. So they worked to assemble a team of individuals with backgrounds in healthcare, insurance, and regulation that together could execute on their grand vision. Enter Ryan, Elijio, Jessica, and many others whose expertise across plan and network development, insurance operations, and compliance have been instrumental in Decent’s success to date.

The Solution. So what does Decent actually do? Well, Decent started from ground zero to build a health insurance experience where members get affordable, high-quality healthcare and where Decent’s incentives are aligned with the members’. Decent created comprehensive health plans that take advantage of things like self-insurance, incentive alignment, and overall operational efficiency to offer high-quality, ACA-compliant coverage at 30-40% discounts to market rates. Decent has been steadily working to build out its own network of high-value providers for its members, which helps support their cost advantage as well.

And Decent’s customer feedback and reviews speak for themselves! Decent’s members love their doctors, they finally feel as though they’re getting value from their insurance, and they can’t believe how easy the insurance is to actually use. Decent boasts an NPS score of 73, which compares to the industry average of just 14. That is unheard of for health insurance!

Today Decent is live for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Texas, but has plans to expand to other states this year as well.

We couldn’t be more excited to be supporting Nick, Richard, Molly, and the rest of the Decent team alongside some of the smartest fintech investors (QED and Core Innovation Capital), healthcare investors (Asset Management Ventures and Healthy Ventures), and generalist VC investors (Foundation Capital and Vulcan Capital) we know.

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