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.
The only problem I have with Kaiser Permanente is having inconsistent care with same provider(s). Your care gets juggled around (passed on from one physician or nurse practitioner to another) simply because of their lack of schedule or time. I find myself competing with other patients to be seen by same doctor or practitioner, juggling my work schedule around the schedule of my provider and their available time and day slots just to get consistent care. In my prenatal experience, I've only seen my Ob-Gyn physician once or twice throughout the 9 months of checkups.
Non-Existent Mental Health Care
The doctors are not very well educated. They went to schools that no one has ever heard of. The patient fees are unaffordable.
I never had any issues with KP. They seemed great and the staffs are very polite and nice.
Very Poor Quality Insurance
At age 59, I have had several health insurance policies. Kaiser Permanante is undoubted the worst policy that I have ever carried. The communications are frustrating as most transactions must occur online. The few phone numbers that they give out lead to endless phone menus that always end up in a voice mail box. The doctors are clearly inferior to any other insurer I have worked with. Two doctors spoke English so poorly that I could not understand them. One even spoke so poorly even the assisting nurse could not understand him, and we had to ask him to write it out. Billing is a nightmare to waddle through. There is nothing straight forward about it. You'll need a spreadsheet to track any co-pays or deductions you might have while you track through your overly complicated statements.
Terrible Urgent Care Experience
The ER is great. They have to be. You're inside their waiting room and need to be seen. But as soon as you get to urgent care the service goes down hill. When I went into the ER for heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, numbness in my left hand and legs, chest pain that still lasted for 6 hours, I was seen immediately. It was a weekend afternoon, so they shipped me to the Urgent Care unit to be seen sooner. Here I was sent to a doctor who told me there was nothing wrong with me; that I had too much stress in my life.
I have read some bad things on Kasier Permanente online, but my experience has been great. Kaiser has really set itself apart from the other health insurance companies. I sleep better at night knowing I'm protected by Kaiser Permanente and highly reccomend it.
My spouse is a county employee and our benefits are through his employer. Our out of pocket cost for 3 is approx $400/monoth. If we want services we are VERY limited in providers and often drive an hour each way. If you have kids who have any preexisting conditions that require Rx's - even common things like asthma, DO NOT pick this for your family. You CAN NOT get an existing Rx filled if the provider is not a Kasier provider. It does not matter if the Rx is on the list or not. You basically need to go to the doc in a box facility and become a member of the herd. This is MANAGED HEALTHCARE. Trust me they decide what you can and can not have taken care of, preformed, looked at and followed up on. You have VERY little say so. Our child's asthma Rx will not be covered with out a tons of hassles, forms, waiting. Her med would be $150/30 days w/out ins. It's mid-April 2011 and I've been working to have this Rx covered since Feb 2011. I've filled out or had completed 5 forms thus far.
I never can get a live person. Every call goes to a recorder. The people who eventually get to the message don't listen to your instructions. If you ask to be called at work or on cell phone (i.e. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), they won't! The call will go to your home, where you are not! I've been 5 days trying to talk to someone about my prescription issues.
Their doctors don't have any knowledge or interest in helping treat patients. I just had a baby a few months ago and was sent to the hospital by my OB/GYN to deliver him. Once at the hospital, the Kaiser doctor on duty sent me home and I had to return 1 day later to have him. I was charged $100 for the ER visit, $250 for labor and $250 for delivery.
I was being charged $26 as a non-member for months then it jumped to $138.