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Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company

Dino Christoforakis
Dino Christoforakis

Editor in Chief & Licensed Insurance Agent.

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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