What just happened at Decent?


Decent’s mission since Richard Luck and I founded the company five years ago has been to deliver affordable health insurance for all. Starting in Texas in 2018, we launched health plans for 35% less than market rates with a Net Promoter Score of 79 vs. the industry average of 14. In 2021 we launched a professional employer organization to help small businesses band together to get even lower rates, and saw 100% renewal among eligible small businesses. I’m proud of what we’ve built, and prouder of the team that has built it.

Unfortunately, we just hit a massive and unexpected setback. It’s not impossible to move forward, but we will need time to figure out how. For that reason, we are winding down all of our operations to just a core team.

This is one of the hardest moments in my career. I believe in transparency and honesty and have outlined what happened here. 

Here’s what happened.

For more than a year, we’ve been working with a major partner to prepare for nationwide expansion this quarter. When leadership changes on their side impacted our original executive champion, they told us it would have no impact on our plans together. We wound down our old product in anticipation of this improved new one, and worked with supportive regulators to ensure a smooth customer transition. We were all systems go as of last Wednesday.

Then late last week, our major partner pulled out without warning, citing unspecific concerns from their executive team and leaving us with no near-term path to market. We explored every possible avenue to salvage the partnership, but to no avail.

What now?

For the near term, we don’t have a health insurance product we can offer and will need to stop serving customers. 

Our focus is on doing right by our customers and doing right by our team. Richard and I are not giving up on our mission to deliver affordable health insurance for all, and we intend and expect to overcome this setback. But to give us the best shot at finding a path to market, we are letting the rest of the Decent team go in the coming months with notice and severance.

I’m writing this post because these are some of the most delightful, capable, and creative people we have ever had the privilege to work with - every person from Decent now exploring the job market is exceptional. I will vouch for any one of them across our internal Missions: Finance, Health, Operations, Legal, PEO, Marketing & Sales, People, and Product & Engineering. This is the best team I’ve ever worked with in my life. 

Small business owners, their families and work families deserve affordable health insurance.  Richard and I will continue to work to make this possible. Until we do, if you are looking for top talent, please let me know.


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