Molly’s story: An inside look at the heart behind Decent’s health care
While building health insurance plans, it’s easy to adopt a clinical perspective of the overall health marketplace and, in the process strip away the humanity and compassion necessary to build something grounded., We believe that misses the point. Humans are the center of health care, and it’s part of our mission to uncover and preserve the humanity in our work in order to better serve the people we meet on this journey.
Molly Moore, Decent’s Head of Insurance, is the reason that humanity is built into our plans. Her unique past, unstoppable drive, and boundless compassion has led us to where we are today...
The work that made Molly Moore, Insurance Nerd
Molly has worked in health care since 1996, starting in a doctor’s office and continuing the journey by working for providers during college. After college, she switched to the health plan side of the industry and worked in Provider Services for a number of insurers, including Aetna, United Healthcare, and Regence BlueShield.
Molly pursued her MBA at the University of Washington, continuing her professional journey in healthcare along the way. Upon graduating, she joined the strategic investments team at Cambia Health Solutions where she helped evaluate hundreds of companies working to solve problems in healthcare every year for potential investment. After that, she joined SEIU 775 Benefits Group where she took a role spearheading health plan strategy as a self-funded purchaser for 20,000 home health workers. In April of 2019, Molly left the Benefits Group to join us at Decent and single handedly built out our revolutionary health plans.
She’s led quite the fascinating professional life as she weaved her way throughout the fabric of the American health insurance world, gaining experience in all aspects of big “health insurance” along the way.
But that’s hardly the most interesting part of her story or who she is as a person. It’s what lies below the surface—and experiences that she’s had along the way—that have shaped who she is as a person and given her the perspective and drive she needed to fundamentally change health insurance.
Getting below the surface
Molly is a person, just like anyone else, and a lot was happening behind the scenes as she advanced through each of her work roles and continued her education.
The year Molly started at Cambia, her first big step into the brand new world of venture investing, she also got married and began playing competitive roller derby. It was 2013 and Molly was busy. She was building the life she had always dreamed of but roller derby is not easy on the body and those health bills started to pile up. Broken noses, dislocated shoulders and other bumps and bruises were followed by painful (and sometimes surprise) medical bills which, while balanced with a wedding and a new job, led to one of the more stressful years of her life.
Then, on Halloween of 2014, Molly found out she was pregnant. She was thrilled but also faced thoughts that many expectant mothers face: how am I going to do it all? A few things changed quickly after she found out. For one, Molly could no longer play roller derby but she also found out that work doesn’t exactly calm down just because you find that you’re pregnant.
Once Molly’s daughter was born, she was able to take 3 months leave but most of her leave was unpaid. FMLA leave flew by and, Molly found herself back at it again, rushing around between work, day care, family time, more work, and sleep where she could get it. She hit a low point not long after going back to work. She was traveling to an annual conference her company attended when she found herself sitting in a bathroom at San Francisco airport trying to pump breast milk that would ultimately have to be thrown away. From there, she would have to take a cab into the city to arrange a cocktail hour she was in charge of, then turn right around, hop on a plane home and head into work again the following morning.
Between being sleep deprived, keeping a six month old alive, work travel, and having to take care of onerous day-to-day tasks on top of everything else, Molly was at a breaking point.
Then, it got worse.
A few months after her very complicated delivery, Molly started receiving what turned into a small mountain of medical bills. She knew her delivery was not normal; she had experienced hypertension and preeclampsia starting at around 36 weeks. That meant she also had to see the doctor twice weekly for the last month of her pregnancy to monitor what was already considered high risk. Near the end of her pregnancy, her feet swelled up, causing her to visit the doctor yet again. After having her blood pressure taken at her 39 week appointment, which turned out to be irregular at 160 over 110, she was told she would have to go to the hospital to be induced. She ended up entering the hospital on a Monday, her daughter was born that Wednesday, and complications during delivery kept her in the hospital until Friday.
Trying to keep her blood pressure in a healthy range - all the while, thinking “How much is this going to cost us?” The truth was that not even she, one of the more savvy healthcare consumers in America, had any idea.
It was a thought she never wanted any other mothers to have to think about when experiencing what should be one of the happiest occasions of one’s lifetime.
This experience helped shape how Molly approached designing Decent’s plans when she had the chance to start from square one. Molly created the Trailblazer plan with the notion that there should be a flat fee associated with pregnancy-related health care costs so families know what to expect when doing family planning. Rather than trying to reconcile how much copays will total to based on every single visit an expectant mother has to the OB-GYN, or calculating how much each test will total up to, Molly wanted a better way for women and their families.
She used her difficult experience of dealing with the mathematical gymnastics that pregnancy (and insurance companies) put her through to pave a better way for women everywhere. She used her own research about the average prenatal visits an expectant mother (hint: it’s 10 to 15) and ran the numbers on how much the copays would total to. That runs up to $250 in copays for doctor visits alone during a pregnancy. Molly knew women with high risk pregnancies—whether they were simply pregnant at age 35+ or had been diagnosed with a serious complication—would be expected to pay even more. For starters, there are at least six different rounds of blood draws, multiple ultrasounds, ultrasounds that need to be redone, and the list goes on. Rather than getting nickeled and dimed for bringing new life into the world, Molly saw a better way.
Molly believes that a flat fee for pregnancy-related health care expenses is the best answer for families expecting to grow, regardless of what the mothers and babies experience along the journey. Pregnancy should be about more than totaling up the anticipated costs of medical bills. And the time after birth should be reserved for spending time as a family, not getting bombarded with surprise bills and hidden fees. The plans Molly created are geared towards providing holistic human care at reasonable rates.
Each plan offered by Decent has no copay associated with seeking care from your primary care physician. Health care costs don’t stop after your child is born. There are one month visits and three month visits and teething visits, and Decent members pay $0 out of pocket for each of these visits and any others they may require. Mothers (and fathers) should have peace of mind that their basic care is covered—no matter what their family needs—without costing an arm and a leg.
Decent’s Trailblazer plan was created to help address some of the weaknesses Molly perceived in traditional health plans throughout her experience. As a result, things like telemedicine are included to help busy new moms (and busy moms-to-be!) check in with their primary care doctor from home. Because all visits (whether in-person, via text message, email, or telephone) are included for free in our plans, expectant parents and new parents can have healthier deliveries and peace of mind without the added stress of mounting medical bills.
“The kind of benefits you would expect as a human”
Today, Molly is known as the “in-house healthcare nerd” at Decent, where she continues to build out health plans that make a difference to real humans. Her mission is to do anything she can to make sure families and parents—and moms, especially—aren't fretting over things that their kids need day-in and day-out.
Part of why she loves Decent is that it is changing how the healthcare system works and innovating to improve it for the future. One of the top ways Decent does this is by smashing misaligned incentives like the fee-for-service model, subsequently slashing inefficiencies in the current health insurance model.
By making the health insurance experience work for real people— rather than serving the financial interests of big business—Decent is doing its part to fundamentally change how people in this country experience healthcare. In Molly’s words, she’s “invested in making sure women, moms, and families have the kind of benefits that you would expect as a human.”
It’s another reason we’re excited to partner with organizations like the Women Communicators of Austin. As a group dedicated to championing women in journalism, media, marketing, and every other communication role, Decent would like to support that mission, too.
Now that’s a mission we can get behind and the heart behind the problems we’re trying to solve.