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Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company

Wondering if Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance has what you’ve been looking for in a health care insurance provider?

There is certainly no shortage of choices when shopping for health care and the decision can feel daunting. Getting to know the company you might be interested in purchasing your health insurance from can be helpful.You may want to learn something about their history, scope and their approach to health care. You will most certainly want to learn about the plans and products they offer. Finally, you will want to perform a price comparison so that you can be sure that you are getting the coverage that you need at a competitive price.

Read through this Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance review, take a look at the customer reviews of Kaiser at the bottom of the page, and then be sure and compare quotes from top health insurance companies by entering your zip code into the free tool on the side of this page.

History of Kaiser Permanente

Founded in 1945 by industrialist, Henry Kaiser and physicist, Sidney Garfield, Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance has become one of the largest managed care organizations in the United States. They currently have over 8 million plan members and are headquartered in Oakland, California. The company is organized into three separate groups, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Permanente Medical Groups. Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals are non-profit organizations. Permanente Medical groups are independent and operate on a for profit basis.

Kaiser Health Insurance Company was created out of necessity. In the 1930s, Dr. Sidney Garfield realized that there was an opportunity for him to open a hospital for workers at the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The problem was that many of the men who were working at the aqueduct had no insurance and Garfield was not willing to turn away anyone who needed medical care and unfortunately, most of the men could not pay.

It appeared that the hospital was going to close due to financial issues when an insurance agent named Harold Hatch suggested the pay per day plan for workers. Workers simply paid five cents a day for their care (whether they needed it or not) and they were covered for any medical expenses. This innovative idea made it possible for thousands of workers to be able to afford health insurance and health care, many for the first time in their lives. The initial five cents only covered work related incidents, however, employees had the option of paying an additional five cents per day to cover a health issues that were not work related.

It was not until Dr. Garfield moved his services to Kaiser’s shipyards that the Kaiser Health Insurance Company was conceived. Dr. Garfield had 30,000 patients at his state of the art hospital because of WWII; however, once the war ended Dr. Garfield was prepared to move on. Kaiser had other plans, however, and created Kaiser Health Insurance Company to prevent his shipyard employees from having to go without health insurance. In order to ensure that the health insurance company was self-sustaining the decision was made to make Kaiser health insurance available to the public and to create some separation from Kaiser the name Kaiser Permanente was adopted.

Kaiser Coverage Today

Today Kaiser is one of the largest affordable health insurance companies around. They offer three types of comprehensive insurance plans, each of which is available at different levels (and varying costs). Each plan has a different value depending on the financial needs of the individuals applying for health care. The three plans are the co-pay plan, the deductible plan and the HSA-Qualified Deductible HMO Plan. It is important to note that none of Kaiser’s plans offers maternity care for their customers and a rider may need to be purchased from another company to cover this care.

Kaiser Co-Pay Plan

The co-pay plan is offered with 30, 35 and 45 dollar options with the $30 option offering no prescription plan. The benefits of these plans are that you will know all of your up-front costs for any care received. There is no deductible with these plans and almost all services are offered at a base rate for consumers; for example, outpatient surgery will always be $200 each time, regardless of how many surgeries are necessary. Most services must be at a Kaiser Permanente approved facility (emergencies are the exception to this rule). The cost of these plans range from $623.21 to $612.37 a month for a healthy family of four.

Kaiser Deductible Plan

The deductible plan is offered at six levels the: $1,000 deductible plan (80%) $1,500 deductible plan (80%) with RX, $2000 deductible plan (70%) with RX, $2000 deductible plan (70%) w/o RX, $3000 deductible plan (70%) with RX and the $5,000 deductible plan (70%) w/o RX. The prices of these plans range from $521.62 to $304.66 for a healthy family of four, offering individuals a wide variety of choices for their budget level.

It is important to note that office visits are not subject to the deductible and a co-pay is required (varying at each level of coverage), however this provides those individuals with a limited budget an opportunity to receive standard care with minimal out of pocket expense. However, once a hospital stay is needed the deductible is applied, once the deductible is met there is a 20% or 30% coinsurance required for the remainder of the coverage (the amount depends on which plan is chosen).

Kaiser Health Savings Account

Lastly, Kaiser offers their HSA qualified deductible HMO plan. The levels for this plan is $2000 deductible (80%) plan w/o RX, $2,000 deductible (100%) plan, $2,500 deductible (100%) plan, $3,000 deductible (100%) plan, $4,000 deductible (100%) plan, and the $5,000 deductible (100%) plan. All of the 100% plan cover prescriptions at no charge whether they are generic or name brand and once the deductible is met there is no charge for any services received from doctor’s visits to hospital stays (there is a 20% co-insurance for the 80% plan and it does not include RX). For individuals who can afford some up front out of pocket expense, these plans offer very affordable options for health care ranging from $509.72 to $296.75 for a healthy family of four.

Kaiser Options

Kaiser also has many options for employers as well. Their coverage can benefit both small and big businesses. As business was their first type of coverage, they are considered business experts, understanding the needs of businesses of any size.

Many organizations have awarded Kaiser for their affordable and quality health care. In 2009 alone they have received recognition from over 25 companies from Latina Style Magazine, who recognized Kaiser as a great company for cultural diversity in their employees, to an award from the American Stroke Association for Kaiser’s commitment to providing extended care to stroke victims. Kaiser has also received several awards from multiple cultural groups due to their scholarship and grant programs for college students.

Kaiser is also heavily involved in the various communities in which they are located. They have a major focus in schools and towards parents to educate them on eating well and avoiding obesity in their children, which is a growing concern in America. In many areas, they offer care and coverage plans for low income individuals.

Kaiser operates in ten states: Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, District of Columbia, California, Oregon, Washington, Ohio and Maryland. Their cautious expansion ensures that they can continue to offer quality care to their current customers and continue to maintain a strong financial presence in the insurance world. This offers peace of mind to their customers during these tough economic times when many businesses are suffering because Kaiser is still prospering.

The company website offers a quick and easy comparison tool to compare the benefits of the different plans that they offer side by side. This is especially beneficial for individuals who want to compare and contrast the different available plans or want to compare the same plans at their different levels to see what they would gain (or lose) in their choices.

Kaiser Health Insurance Network

As of 2006, Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance has been licensed to operate in nine states and the District of Columbia. The company has divided the areas where coverage is available into eight regions. These regions are Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Mid Atlantic which includes Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, Ohio and the Northwest which covers northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

Kaiser Charitable Health Coverage Programs

Kaiser Permanente offers many charitable health coverage programs that provide health care coverage at low or no cost to families that meet income guidelines and are not eligible for other public health programs. Kaiser Permanente’s programs in Colorado are Access, Safety Net, and Connections. In Northern and Southern California, their programs are called Child Health Plan and STEPS. Georgia, Hawaii and Mid-Atlantic States have the Bridge Program. In addition to the Bridge Program, Georgia has the Plan of Limited Duration and the Mid-Atlantic State region has the Child Health Partnership Program. Ohio and the Northwest regions both have the Transition Program but the Northwest region also has the Child Health Program, Washington Basic and Health Plan Subsidy Programs.

Kaiser Student Health Plans

Another offering is called Student Health Plans. These plans are designed to be flexible, feature on-line tools and wellness programs and are available at several partner colleges. At this time partner colleges include Alliant International University, Cal Northstate College of Pharmacy, Claremont School of Theology, Dominican University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Graduate Theological Union and Mills College. These programs also have the ease and convenience that comes with being able to schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, view lab results and e-mail their doctors on-line.

Kaiser Medicare Plans

Medicare plans are also available. In Oregon, their Medicare plans are Senior Advantage and Senior Advantage Basic. Both of these plans are meant to cover care needs that are not met by Medicare. This coverage includes preventative care, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and vision care. Senior Advantage has an added benefit called Silver Sneakers through which participants can get health club memberships. Medicare coverage in the remaining Kaiser Permanente regions is in the form of Medicare Part D prescription coverage.

Kaiser HIPAA Plans

You will find a variety of plans for individuals, families, small businesses and HIPAA plans. HIPAA plans are those that are designed to be portable so that a change of jobs doesn’t mean loss of coverage. HIPAA plans are especially well suited to people who have pre-existing conditions. The benefits included in these plans vary by region.

Kaiser Innovations in Healthcare Award

Kaiser Permanente has often been recognized in its field and receives awards and accolades. One of the awards Kaiser received in 2009 was the Innovations in Healthcare Award for Customer Empowerment. This award was given by Adaptive Business Leaders in recognition of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Lifestyles Program.

Kaiser Healthy Lifestyles Program

The Healthy Lifestyles Program helps people who want to lose weight, quit smoking, eat better or reduce stress through actions plans, goal tracking, e-newsletters and on-line resources that promote healthy living. The program is available in English and Spanish.

Kaiser Pioneering Innovations Award

The 2009 Pioneering Innovation Award was also given to Kaiser Permanente by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This award was for obesity prevention efforts. Some of these efforts include making weight management programs available to members, creation of farmers markets, posting calorie counts in hospital cafeterias and commitment to community and policy approaches to obesity prevention.

Compare Kaiser Health Insurance Quotes

This look at Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company will help answer some questions and give you a better idea as to whether this group can be a good health care provider for you.

In order to get the best price for your health insurance coverage, you will want to obtain rates from a few companies and compare their prices. Compare your Kaiser health insurance quotes with quotes from top health insurance providers across the nation to see which company is best for you.

You can get free rate quotes now, just by entering you zip code above!

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12 reviews

  • Michael Boyett /
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    • 33333
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    • 44444

    I was at first worried when my employer announced we were going to a Kaiser plan. I have been pleasantly surprised. My wife, kids and I have all found great doctors and receive excellent care.

    While it is a bit difficult and more expensive to get some medications, like my wife’s migraine medicine, we have been able to get it. I especially like being able to email my doctor to deal with routine issues without needing to make an office visit.

    This saves time and money. Overall I rate my experience with Kaiser as positive.

  • long time insured /
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    • 11111

    This is the absolute worst place to go for medical care.

    I have had Kaiser for over ten years by default (through my wife), and I still have medical problems that have remained almost the entire time that they have failed to care for. They have no urgent care, only your regular doctor, or the emergency room.

    If you have an urgent medical need but are not in imminent danger, they discourage you from going to the emergency room, and you have to wait several days to get an appointment with your doctor. Case in point: I had a broken foot, and they wanted to keep me from going to the emergency room, and advised me that I needed to take an appointment from my regular doctor several days later while I laid at home in agonizing pain.

    This is only one of many examples that I myself have experienced of Kaiser’s neglectful ways. My quality of life has suffered immensely while in the absent care of Kaiser.

    In the ten years I have been with Kaiser, they have steadily cut more and more services, while continually to increasing rates. If you are considering Kaiser for coverage, run away as fast as you can, unless you want the quality of your life to suffer as well.

    • 11111
    • 11111
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    • 22222

    I own a business and recently switched to Kaiser for me and my employees’ medical insurance. These are a few of the things that happened in the first one month that had me regret my decision to move to Kaiser:

    1. Kaiser did not send any information about how to access account to the members. I, the group admin, had to send multiple emails to get the membership id information. However, when it came to billing, the first-month premium was immediately charged to my account. The members were not able to avail any healthcare services for one month because they did not have any clue about how to take an appointment with the doctors.

    2. There is no way to contact them outside business hours, not even to make payments! There is just one phone number for customer support and that too has very restrictive hours which makes it hard for someone with a full-time job.

    3. I did not get any information about how to set up account for online access. Neither did I get information about how and where to send payments.

    4. The notification of the first bill came on two days after the bill was due! How is anyone supposed to know that the bill is already due if the notification comes later than the due date?

    5. There is no way to reset password online for group administrators. You can’t even check for email responses without logging in! This is too much restriction in the name of security. This is so ironic because when I called an operator reset my password and told me the password over phone! What kind of security is this when you can’t reset my password online and a live person can just speak out the password over the phone!

    6. The website is really very difficult to use. The navigation controls are tedious and non-intuitive. It is very slow and does not provide information about how to pay bills.

    I hope this review helps you make a decision on choosing the right medical insurance plan.

    • 22222
    • 22222
    • 22222
    • 22222

    The staff is generally fast and friendly. The problems I have with Kaiser Permanente are their incessant robo-calls, horrendous automated phone system, and the fact that they won’t actually try to treat anything unless you do huge amounts of you own research and then pressure them to look into it.

    I am going to cancel and go without coverage like everyone else I know. Kaiser is a perfect example of the failed for-profit health care system. I was diagnosed with acid reflux and received a prescription(!) for something I knew to be a lung issue, which was later confirmed. I have no acid reflux.

    • 22222
    • 11111
    • 22222
    • 11111

    This is one of the great insurance companies UNTIL you visit their hospital or take their services. Once you visit the hospital, then It’s bad, sorry it’s worst of the worst.

    Really this is the worst insurance I’ve come across around the world. They change the policies. After paying hefty premiums, most of the time you pay for everything (as good as no insurance). It is impossible to reach to discuss any billing issues. You never get the same answer/response from any two customer care representatives.

    Sometimes, they overcharged the premium (if you set up auto payment) and never refund that extra amount if you keep bugging then they adjust in the next month. Especially the co-insurance never initiates after your deductibles. I fought 5 months to show they are wrongly calculating.

    Please do not recommend anyone, if you want to take some risk then try once (before trying keep at least $4-5k ready to donate Kaiser).

  • Robert Croon /
    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 33333

    As a two-time member of Kaiser, I feel the need to inform people what I experienced at K. First, a member in 2000 and then again 2011 to present.

    In 2000, I was assigned a Dr. Back and didn’t have much need of medical help but did notice how rude and impersonal the majority of staff were. This is very unbiased as I had several family members employed at K. My Insurance changed until 2011 to present.

    It was back to K. This time, I enrolled in “added choice” so I could get outside of their system. You MUST do this!!! I soon noticed K had gotten worse, not better as publicity said. When I enrolled again I asked for a new Doctor and was told the only doctor taking new patients was the doctor I had 11 years ago. That was the first bold face lie. Soon it started.

    I’m 55 years old now, so I see doctors more. An MRI was ordered for my neck and spine. I was told I needed my eyes checked for metal as 25 years ago I had a speck fly in my eye, but it was removed. I explained I have had numerous MRIs done, and eyes x-rayed and could give them the records.

    The nasty Sunnyside MRI schedule lady said “It wasn’t done at K and we don’t mess around. If you don’t submit you won’t get your meds!” I wish I got her name as I would have her unemployed. As you can guess, eyes were fine. I went to nurse treatment at Vanc, Wa. clinic for forms of MRIs to have and was told I had not gotten my flu pneumonia shot. Told her I indeed did in Oct. 2011 just not at K. She didn’t believe me so I phoned the clinic, and put them on speaker phone so this rude nurse could hear for herself.

    Then she says the doctor Ordered a psa test. I told her I had one a few months ago, so back to the phone, called the clinic again. The worst offense was when the doctor ordered consult with neurologist. She said to stop a med I was taking, and she would notify my pcp and pain mgmt. doctor, but no one called so I weaned myself off.

    I got a call a month later with a very nervous, caring person from the neurologist who got my message, not my pcp but her. People be careful. Kaiser needs to be fully investigated in every department. My doctor also ordered tests that we never discussed, so I cancelled and basically go out of their network. My meds are cheaper also.

    This is only scratching the surface of what goes on, so do your homework. I’m sure they have some great doctors, but the outside clinic I go to now has two ex-doctors. from K both 20 years plus who left K due to unethical things going on behind my back and maybe yours. Be safe!

    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111

    In December, I went to Kaiser for an annual female exam, was charged no copay, and the visit went well.

    In February, I received an invoice from Kaiser for $223 informing me that I had discussed ‘prohibited topics’ with the Physician Assistant and that this $223 was part of my deductible.

    I have been passed from clerk to clerk in the financial services office and cannot speak to anyone that understands that deductibles apply only to emergency and hospitalization and that the most I would owe for my ‘prohibited topic’ would be my $30 co-pay. T

    hey also cannot tell me what the prohibited topic was or provide any details of the office visit/billing error. Be careful that if the PA or doctor asks you how you are – don’t answer!

    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111

    I recently changed jobs, and my new employer carries Kaiser insurance. Good, employer-provided health insurance is important to me as my wife has chronic health issues. I have been unhappy with pretty much everything I have experienced with Kaiser so far.

    Ignore for a moment the massive bureaucracy: the bloated phone system, the massive pharmacy that doesn’t carry or cover many important medications and is empowered to over-rule your physician. Forget about the 30-minute maximum doctor visits. That would all be tolerable if they actually took care of their patients instead of constantly making them jump through hoops.

    My wife has chronic pain, for which she has been treated for many years by many doctors. Never in that time has she ever been made to feel like a criminal for having pain issues, but Kaiser has, for all intents and purposes, labeled her an addict and has put her on what amounts to probation. She MUST submit to regular urine tests, and MUST attend addiction counseling in order to have her medications refilled. She cannot drive, and each trip to Kaiser ends up taking her over an hour each way on the bus. This company, who we are PAYING to provide a service, is causing her tremendous stress and is actually making her pain WORSE in the process.

    Never in my life have I paid so much money for such unmitigated abuse. I love my new job but would consider changing employers JUST to get out from under Kaiser. If it were just me, I’d probably opt to go uninsured rather than pay these people.

  • Chessanne Leighton /
    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 22222
    • 33333

    Kaiser is crummy.

    You have to go through so much red tape to get what you need. It is definitely not one-stop shopping. Your primary care doctor CANNOT prescribe what you need. They make you go to different doctors for all of your care, which incurs additional appointments and charges, and the billing comes MONTHS LATER. Surprise!

    Out of all the doctors I had seen, I only met ONE who treated me correctly and with care and dignity. Kaiser is akin to public health care.

  • Daisy Smith /
    • 11111
    • 11111
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    • 11111

    Kaiser is as bad as health coverage can get. Anything I have gotten service for is grossly inadequate. I get it through my employer so I do not have a choice. I pay most of my health care bills out of pocket.

    I have paid for allergy shots out of pocket through another doctor not in Kaiser, for years. Right now I just took a bad hit to the head. I am out of town, two hours from Kaiser with a potentially serious head injury. They said it is not an emergency but I should come in and see a doctor right away. It is unsafe for me to drive as I am dizzy and am having visual disturbance pertaining to motion.

    I explained it is unsafe for me to drive. They said that is my problem, they will not pay for care where I am at. I risk my life and others driving two hours in this condition, or I pay myself for a doctor visit and probably a CAT scan, or do not get care. So as a teacher I cannot afford medical care where I am at and cannot safely drive two hours to Kaiser. Their response, that is not their problem.

    I cannot get care for as I sit here out of town with a serious head injury. Horrid care, I guess if you have Kaiser you better never travel anywhere because if something happens you may as well rot there and die. That is how Kaiser is.

    I spent three hours on the phone, back and forth and verifying with them the importance of me seeing a doctor and the fact that they will not pay for it.

    These are horrible people, they make money by denying care. I always end up paying out of pocket, I am amazed they are allowed to stay in business.

    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111
    • 11111

    After being on Kaiser from the age of six months to now at 58 and never having a problem, all that has changed. In the last few years, the rates have gone up and up and service has gotten worse. It’s all about the money.

    I have a chronic, painful condition- arthritis in my neck (diagnosed by a Kaiser Dr. by x-rays) and TMJ. I have had an RX for a pain medicine and muscle relaxer for years, which was used only as needed and sparingly.

    I was sent a notice recently that they had assigned me a new Dr. after years of seeing the old one, who never gave me a problem with refills. I recently sent in a refill request for my meds and the request was denied saying I had to come in for “lab tests” and an evaluation to determine “if I actually had the condition and or if it still existed” What??? NO! I’m not stupid and know Arthritis and TMJ do not resolve. They are permanent conditions and “lab tests” etc. are NOT necessary for these conditions. Nor are “lab tests” even used to diagnose these conditions.

    They only want me to come in and pay the MUCH higher than before co-pays to run tests that are not necessary and are worthless as far as my conditions. They kept me going through tons of red tape and hearings I didn’t request only to keep denying me my meds.

    NO more Kaiser for us. We are leaving and going to a new health plan. Kaiser is no longer the good company it once was. Now it’s corporate greed.

    • 22222
    • 11111
    • 44444
    • 33333

    BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA — I have been PRO Kaiser for years. Last year I needed a total knee replacement (Feb 2014) and I was sent out to an Orthopedic Surgeon who does not work for Kaiser. After the operation, I had to ask this doctor every other day for physical therapy, finally 3 weeks later he sent me for physical therapy.

    After six weeks, I still did not have full movement of my leg, I could bend my knee to 72° degrees and straighten my knee to 8° degrees. It was at this time he wanted to perform a manipulation because I was not able to bend my leg more than 72° degrees. I did 6 more week’s physical therapy; again I have to ask for more physical therapy, this happen 3 more times.

    At this time I can only bend my knee 90° degrees and I am still in a great deal of pain. After 5 months he said that he could no longer help me and said that I needed to get another opinion.

    I was then seen by a Kaiser Orthopedic Doctor, this doctor sent me to Kaiser Orthopedic Doctor know in Los Angles, this doctor said he could do nothing, then I was sent to Cedar Sinai Orthopedic Doctor, this doctor ordered two test.

    After 6 phone calls by me and two forms requesting medical records, to both, Cedar Sinai Orthopedic Doctor and Kaiser Orthopedic Doctor, the request was sent to Kaiser. I did have one of the tests, at Kaiser Orthopedic and this doctor wanted to research MRI or CAT scan, he wanted to see which would be better. This Kaiser Orthopedic doctor said that this was the last visit, he said he could no longer help me, but he was there if I needed him.

    The other thing I noticed is that it is taking longer to get in to see my primary doctor, use to take 1 to 2 weeks, now it is taking 4 to 6 weeks and the wait time is taking longer.

    I no longer feel that personal touch at Kaiser, it could be because of all the issues I have had with me knee and they want me gone. I am under my wife’s insurance plan or I would go with another insurance company.

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