Depending on who you ask, Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance is either the greatest thing ever or the absolute worst health care organization on the planet.
Other healthcare providers think they have an unfair advantage within their industry because Kaiser is a closed group.
This means they aren’t required to provide care to the general public. You have to be a “member” in order to receive care.
Other hospital systems are required by law to provide emergency services to anyone, regardless of their financial condition or health insurance provider.
If an ambulance brings someone to their door, they must provide treatment.
Ambulances don't go to Kaiser hospitals unless that patient specifically states that they are a Kaiser member and would like to go to Kaiser.
This is probably the number one reason Kaiser health insurance from Kaiser Insurance is so affordable.
"DR. DODO" SAYS SHOP AROUND!
Another reason Kaiser remains affordable is their focus on preventative care.
This allows them to closely monitor the health of patients.
By catching a serious health condition early, they can begin treating it with much less expensive treatment than if it is allowed to develop into something more serious.
When someone shows up at their hospitals without insurance, they can turn them away.
Other health care providers are required by law to render care to anyone who shows up at the emergency room, regardless of their insurance.
So if a car wreck happens on the freeway, the ambulance won’t go to Kaiser Health Insurance unless the injured person is coherent enough to say that they are a member of Kaiser Insurance family.
I have also heard that Kaiser is great as long as you don’t need major (expensive) treatment.
This is just what I’ve heard from speaking with friends and customers, but they may take awhile to decide whether or not you really need that kidney replacement or if you can just get by with the ones you have now.
Because you are trapped within the Kaiser Insurance system, its hard to get a Kaiser doctor to go against what another Kaiser doctor decides. They are a closed group. Very incestuous.
If you want to get really good health insurance, you really can’t go wrong with Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance. It’s an organization that ultimately manages all of your care, with a group of hospitals as well as personalized medical plans.
Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s headquarters are in Oakland, California, and it has insurance plans and centers in nine states, including Georgia, Hawaii, Colorado, Virginia, Oregon, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Maryland, and California.
With 37 medical centers and 611 medical offices in the states that they serve, Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance is a logical choice if you live in that target area. The downside, of course, is that Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance only covers a specific area of the country, and if you live elsewhere, you might be out of luck. Still, it’s a great insurance option for many people.
Pros and Cons of Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance
As with any product, there are pros and cons to Kaiser Permanente insurance. Understanding what they are will allow you to make an educated decision about your insurance and healthcare in general.
Pros Of Kaiser Health Insurance
Kaiser Health Insurance Cons
Kaiser Health Insurance Plans Review
One of the best things about Kaiser Permanente is that they have many different plans that cater specifically to patient care. You can select the plan that’s right for you based on your unique needs. As long as you are in an area served by Kaiser Permanente, you should be able to find a plan that works for you.
Kaiser Classic Plan
If you opt for Kaiser's Classic Plan, you have to pay a copay for every doctor you visit. You can visit as many doctors as you would like over the course of a year and also have access to emergency services, late-night services, and generic prescription drugs.
The plan comes with a number of different deductible options that vary depending on the state that you’re in. Deductibles start at $1,500 and go all the way up to $5,000 with the Kaiser Classic Plan Health Insurance Coverage.
Kaiser Essential Plan
Kaiser’s Essential Plan has different copay options depending on the service that you’re using. You don’t have to pay a copay after you hit your deductible, though, which is a huge perk when it comes to the Essential Plan. Your copay takes care of outpatient services, generic prescriptions, and office visits.
Like the Kaiser Classic Plan, the Kaiser Essential Plan starts at $1,500 and goes up to $7,500, and the amount you pay varies by what state you live in.
Kaiser Advantage Plan
Choose Kaiser’s Advantage Plan, and you’ll have access to primary doctor visits, two specialist visits, evening visits, and generic drugs for a co-pay until you hit the yearly deductible. After you meet the deductible, there’s absolutely no charge for services.
This is an excellent plan for people who need a lot of medical care, and although deductibles change based upon the state that you’re living in, most of them start at $2,500 and go as high as $7,500. If you are someone who needs a lot of care or who has pre-existing conditions, this Kaiser Health Insurance product might just be ideal for you.
Kaiser Permanente Health Savings Plan
This good option from Kaiser Insurance lets you add a Health Savings Account (HSA) to your existing medical care coverage. HSAs are excellent tools that allow you to put away tax-free income to cover your healthcare. Anything that you spend on healthcare out of your HSA is tax-free, and you can get these plans for both individuals or families.
Individual plans are generally right around $5,000, although you will want to check to see what your particular state starts at.
For family plans, prepare to pay a deductible of $10,000.
These types of Health Savings Plans give you a tremendous amount of flexibility as well as the ability to plan ahead for healthcare-related expenses.
If you have a lot of out-of-pocket costs, you should consider getting a Kaiser Health Savings plan.
"DR. DODO" SAYS SHOP AROUND!
Kaiser Health Insurance Providers
One of the best things about Kaiser is that you can find all of their providers right online.
You can find doctors, locations, and information about doctor specialties right from the comfort of your own home.
Everything is listed right there, including credentials and education level.
You can even call them toll-free any hour of the day to check on any travel needs that you may have regarding prescriptions or any other conditions.
Kaiser Insurance also offers plenty of online resources so that you can manage your health better, such as wellness guides and other offerings.
Many people find their website to be a fully comprehensive resource guide that’s easy to navigate.
Kaiser Mental Health Insurance Providers
Similarly, you can find a list of Kaiser Permanente’s Mental Health Providers online.
At Kaiser Permanente, mental health is considered a very vital part of patient care, so it’s included in all of their healthcare offerings and plans.
Just as with their physical healthcare offerings, you will want to make sure that your mental health provider is located well within the network in order for it to be covered.
Kaiser Health Insurance Costs
Kaiser’s health insurance costs vary depending on what kind of coverage you need, but generally, they start around $622 a month for single coverage.
For family coverage, you’re looking at closer to $1,778 per month. Of course, you can get more cost-effective plans if you don’t mind paying a higher deductible.
Kaiser Health Insurance Reviews And Ratings
Kaiser Health Insurance Reviews consistently get positive ratings, and most of its customers are very satisfied with Kaiser Permanente’s service.
It has an “A” Better Business Bureau rating and seems like a generally good company to buy insurance from.
One of the most significant drawbacks to Kaiser Permanente is the fact that it doesn’t operate country-wide. Unlike larger legacy companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kaiser Health Insurance is limited.
They only operate in nine states out of 50, so many people in the United States can’t even get Kaiser insurance.
You are also limited in who you can visit. Since Kaiser Health has specific medical facilities and hospitals that take care of its patients, you can’t see any specialist that you want to.
It’s a good idea to take a long look at who will be offering you care before doing anything else.
Kaiser Permanente also doesn't have international plans, so if you spend a lot of time traveling overseas or you need a more comprehensive plan, you should probably look elsewhere.
Alternative Healthcare Insurers: Humana vs Kaiser Permanente
Like Kaiser Permanente vs Humana is a very popular healthcare option in the United States. Although the two have a lot in common, there are some significant differences that could impact which one you opt to go with.
Humana is a newer company, founded in 1961 as opposed to 1945, like Kaiser Permanente. Humana has a much lower Medicare Star Rating than Kaiser, only getting three stars out of five as opposed to Kaiser’s five stars.
The most significant difference between the two is that Humana has a much more extensive network than Kaiser Insurance, and you can visit a lot of different medical facilities, not just those sanctioned or facilities by Humana.
On the other hand, Humana has very limited, or non-existent in some areas, health care plans for individual people or families, but is available all throughout the country. Kaiser’s reach is limited to only a handful of states.
Both Kaiser vs Humana offer online apps that make it easy for people to find providers in their networks and even get prescription drugs.
Both apps are intuitive, easy to use, and allow you to scan over your healthcare coverage and options in a single glance.
Truly, both of these insurance companies are on the cutting edge of technology.
There are definite pros and cons to both Humana and Kaiser Permanente, but the most significant differentiating factor seems to be location.
If you are located in one of the states that Kaiser Health serves, their coverage is a good bet for you.
On the other hand, if you aren’t located in one of their nine states, you will have to get a different provider.
Flexibility and geographic reach seem to be the two biggest problems with Kaiser Permanente.
Despite its small footprint now, Kaiser Permanente is an insurance company that’s expanding its reach and serving more and more communities every day.
"DR. DODO" SAYS SHOP AROUND!
Kaiser Key Points To Remember
In closing, Kaiser Permanente is a company who is built on preventative care.
Kaiser is a great choice for people on a budget, who need sturdy healthcare.
They are also a good choice for a small business on a budget, looking to provide employees with at least some form of medical benefits as a part of their employment package.
Could Kaiser be better? Probably.
Could Kaiser be worse? Definitely.
The best way to make a decision is to consider all of your options.
So when you shop for health insurance, consider Kaiser and also look at some other quotes.
In the end, if you have a bad experience, you can always switch providers.