Founded in 1945 and headquartered in Oakland, California, Kaiser Permanente is the biggest of the non-profit managed healthcare insurance providers in the nation. They offer a generous array of programs and services in nine states as well as the District of Columbia.
The company employs almost 150,000 and their network envelops nearly 13,000 physicians, 37 medical centers, as well as 400 doctor’s offices, which serve Kaiser Permanente’s nearly 9-million subscribers. In 2006, the company saw revenue of over $31-billion, which means they have the financial strength to back up their subscribers in any time of need.
Kaiser Permanente prides itself on catering to the needs of the members first rather than those of the shareholders. This plan is well known for its strong, social purpose and the lasting sense of cooperation that exists between the Health Plan and its medical groups. The physicians in the hospitals take responsibility for providing the clinical care the members need.
The mission of Kaiser Permanente is to improve the health of its members by providing them with an affordable, high quality, integrated healthcare program. Through an integrated system of delivering healthcare, it provides for all of the healthcare needs of its members, including preventative care, immunizations, emergency care, prescription drugs, and many others. In this way, every member’s needs can be met through this plan.
In addition to providing for the healthcare of its members, Kaiser Permanente performs many community activities. These include providing assistance to those people who may be uninsured and in need of medical attention. It is also involved in training new health professionals and in bringing new methods of delivery healthcare to the profession and is always trying to develop and share new and better ways of caring for its policyholders.
I've had nothing but a positive experience with Kaiser, especially when compared to other HMOs'. One of the main things that I like about Kaiser is that I've NEVER had a problem getting an appointment, and have NEVER had an issue getting a referral to a specialist. This has also been the case with my kids and my spouse. Getting blood work done is easy. Getting scrips filled is easy. Getting an MRI and x-rays are all easy. My son had a lump on his neck, they saw him the same day that he told me about it (Saturday) and he saw a head and neck surgeon on Monday. Biopsy will be back by Wednesday. Try to do that with any other insurance. At the same time, each doctor had full access to his medical records, try that with any other insurance...
Changed My Address For No Reason
I went to the emergency room with animal bites. I handed my insurance card to the reception desk nurse and asked if the hospital accepted Allstate health insurance which I had through my employer at that time. She said "yes, we accept all insurance" and copied it down. I also gave my current address and phone number at that time. Now, several months later, I found out that I was sent to collections because someone in the billing office changed my address back to the old one. A rep I spoke with said that the correct address had been entered, but it seemed a few weeks later it was changed back to an address I haven't lived at for years.
Long Customer Service Wait Time
Horrible customer service response time on the phone. Be prepared to wait on hold until you are ready to throw the phone down... and then wait another 15 minutes!!
If you only need an annual physical, you'll be happy with Kaiser Permanente. If you have health needs that require frequent tests or contact with KP facilities, you don't want KP. You will be a number. Expect to have no control over the experience, expertise, or quality of your physician. KP knows you are captive to their system and so their incentive to treat you as a valued customer does not exist. Very poor service and quality of care.
Poor Customer Service
They made me get an eye cray prior to an MRI. I told them I've had it done before and would bring the film and findings. The woman said well you have not had one here and if you don't you won't get your mess.
Long Wait For Mental Care
I just went to our Kaiser mental health office to see if someone could meet with my 26 year old son who had not slept for 3 days and is bipolar. We were hopeful that some one could talk to him and possibly start him on a medication for his condition. We were told that if it was an emergency to take him to the ER, otherwise their next opening is in 44 days. I told the woman that he could be dead by then and thanked her and we went on our way.
Poor Customer Service
The insurance is great until you visit their hospital or take their services. They change the policies. After paying hefty premiums most of the time you pay for everything. It's as good as no insurance. It is impossible to reach anyone to discuss any billing issues. You never get the same answer/response from any two customer care executives. Sometimes they over charged the premium (if you set up auto payment) and never refund that extra amount, if you keep bugging then they adjust in next month.
You Are Just A Number and A Co-Pay
Kaiser has turned into the worst health care provider imaginable. You are a plastic card with a number and a co-pay; rather than a person. They do not manage their drugs well, so you better be prepared to do it yourself. After all of these years I am diligently searching for another carrier and will gladly pay out of pocket to feel assured.
Lots of Hassles
I am so regret that I enrolled with Kaiser HMO. Kaiser HMO is about $20 bucks cheaper then the other option that my employer offers, but there's a lot of hassles. You need to get a referral every time you want to see a doctor.
The waits for appointments are long. The appointment times themselves are short though. You're booked for 15 minutes with a nurse and rarely get to see an actual doctor.