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So, I had this thing on my chest, I thought it was an ingrown hair. It kept getting bigger, and bigger. I tried warm compresses, the scab would come off, I'd clean it with hydrogen peroxide. It didn't hurt but it just kept getting bigger. I've got a 5 day river trip coming up and 3 days before my departure date. I figured that I'd better do something. On my lunch break on Tuesday I made an appointment with my general practitioner (who I hadn't seen in 8 years) I couldn't believe it. I was able to get an appointment at 10:00 on Wednesday!
I go to see my doctor, Sankari **, MD in San Ramon, Ca. She is the most personable doctor I've ever had, we chatted like old friends, seriously, I might invite her and her family over for a BBQ. She looked at my chest and determined that it would need to be surgically removed. She scheduled me an appointment with WS * MD at Kaiser in Walnut Creek for 1:30 that same day! I went to see Dr. **. He looked at it and said that he would schedule a surgery. His assistant pointed out that he had about 20 minutes, right now. They had me in a operation room in less that 10 minutes and 15 minutes later a marble sized cyst was removed from my chest and I was stitched up. I know things don't always go this smoothly but all involved knew that I needed to get this done in a hurry and made it happen.
My husband and I have Kaiser insurance through our employers and we are very happy with our plans. I have a facility close by my work if I have a doctor's appointment, need lab work, x-ray, or the pharmacy it's all right there. Kaiser has all health history online and computers in each exam room. My husband had back surgery 3 years ago, and shoulder surgery 1 year ago he had excellent doctors and care both times. Kaiser health plans are the most expensive HMO plans offered by both our companies, however they are so efficient it's worth it.
I really like Kaiser. When I see a doctor or go to Urgent Care all tests are done in the same building, and results are fast. I also love that Kaiser is very proactive about health. It is easy to get all results via the web. My husband and I have had excellent care at Kaiser. I appreciate that they are not for profit, and more about patients care. The only downside is that they are not located everywhere, so I often have to buy separate insurance when I travel, however, you can always get emergency care within the US.
I had San Francisco Kaiser 40+ years ago and had always been healthy. After giving a normal birth in the early 1980s, I dropped Kaiser due to very poor service and aging inadequate facility. They brought me the wrong baby to breastfeed! I've returned to Kaiser for over 5 years now, after a good experience working with a wonderful Kaiser doctor for my in-law.
Kaiser has gone thru a major overhaul, new buildings (beautiful Mission Bay campus but on the other side of city for me)/remodel, procedural changes (I'm sure partly gov't mandated) and also invested heavily in their IT systems. Hopefully they've eliminated the horrible doctors who refused to care for patients and didn't address their complaints (or at least try to). Staff are attentive to patients and no longer ignoring patients, especially at the front desks. Two thumbs up on their online patient portal.
For myself, I found the right, caring doctor(s). I've used their 24x7 Advice Nurse line and found them to be caring and responsive. Even short notice appoints with my non-attending physician (Geary Blvd OP), hit the DX right on the nose, verified with RX-ray same FRI afternoon, and waited for me afterwards to see the results after 6 pm, so she could order the prescription and not wait over the weekend. Now that is service! Another short notice appointment with an optical specialist after I idiotically poked my eye bending over an orchid plant late night, was also efficient. Not much bedside manners, but I was so concerned as the eye was bleeding initially. The graveyard adviser nurse even consulted a doctor and tried to get me a followup morning visit rather than ER visit, as good to ensure I did not damage my vision.
The option for video appointments with my primary doctor is great and they finally fixed the sporadic bug in their pharmacy refill system. I had retired from IT in a county hospital so I feel I have a basis for comparison. I am very very happy with SF Kaiser (Northern California). I had been dual-insured with HealthNet for many years and it was also good, depending on the doctor you get, but like the one stop Kaiser health service as I normally research the background of the specialists anyways. I also appreciate reading the issues other patients on this website. It's always good to hear both sides and to be aware, which is why I am writing this. Finding the right doctor to fit you and your personality/demeanor is key. Also remembering medical staff are not perfect.
We've had Kaiser Permanente insurance for 3 years. Our son was born last year, but other than that we are relatively healthy. We've had a very positive experience with KP during that time. We love our doctors and pediatrician. It's extremely convenient to talk to an on-call nurse, and we can almost always get same-day appointments in urgent care when we have a problem. The system is very convenient -- everything under one roof. You can get referrals and see a specialist on the same visit! (And pick up your medicine in the pharmacy.) And we can e-mail our pediatrician anytime and get responses in under 24 hours; great for unexplained rashes or fevers. We loved pre-natal classes as well. My only complaints are -- expensive (but everything is expensive), and the website is a little clunky and can be tricky to figure out. (But the website is also great because it has all your records stored there.)
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My child has ADHD, and takes medication which can only be dispensed for 28 days at a time. They used to mail the medication to our home, as long as there was an adult to sign for it. They discontinued this practice, then they closed the closest pharmacy to our home. The closest pharmacy/clinic is now an hour away. Refilled the medication online and went down the day after it said it would be available. The man at the counter told me it had been cancelled by the doctor and I would have to call. He said it had been filled on the 17th, but cancelled on the 29th. I asked why a prescription would be cancelled after a week and he said, "Oh that's longer than a week." Then he realized his error, but still had no answers.
I resubmitted the request online. My husband drove down again to pick up the pills and was only given one prescription, of course not the one we needed. I went online and see that the drug is once again listed as available to fill. Contact the doctor's office who tells me that the interruptions to her prescriptions are not their fault-which may be correct, but is not very helpful when my child has now run out of her prescription, and we've wasted four hours trying to get them. Sitting on hold now trying to order them for the third time. I hate Kaiser and I wish companies would stop using them for insurance.
In the past few years or so, Kaiser So Cal has been signing-up far more members than it can service at its facilities. Requests for appoints for your Primary Care Physician (PCP) are unavailable under 45-days...UNLESS you call EVERY DAY and see if there are cancellations. This is COMPLETELY unacceptable!! To add insult to injury, rarely do you even get to SEE your PCP; instead you are shunted-off to a P.A. that 'treats' you like a brand-new patient and seemingly knows NOTHING about your situation. At least when there were paper files they could scan it before going into the room!! Now, with everything on PC's, they have to login before they can read-up on you....SO THEY DON'T!! THIS IS **TOTAL CRAP**.
My husband and I are self employed and we CHOOSE to be insured by Group Health/Kaiser. However suddenly this summer we received alerts on our credit reports that we are in collections with Kaiser through Evergreen Collection agency. How could I personally have 19 unpaid bills??? These are not missed premiums or copays. They are the percentage owed from provider visits going back to 2014. Kaiser won’t discuss it with me and they insist they emailed my bill to me. Evergreen has never sent me a bill either. I believe they are operating illegally. I have turned Kaiser in to the Insurance Commissioners office and am planning to file a complaint with the Better Business Office as well. And btw.... they made mistakes during my husband's knee replacement so they had to redo it only two years later. We never complained but I think we need a good malpractice attorney and join a class action lawsuit due to their irresponsible billing practices.
First, let me say that my experience with Kaiser while in Southern California has been fine. But beware their response if you're out of town. While I was in Illinois in an area with no Kaiser operations, I suffered a detached retina. These can cause permanent blindness if not treated quickly, but Kaiser decided it was not an emergency and denied coverage. They seemed focused on the fact that I went to an eye doctor instead of an emergency room. If you had a sudden vision problem, where would you go? The emergency room would send you to an eye doctor, and there would be an additional bill. So, even though I'm paying premiums that exceed the cost of the surgery to save my sight, Kaiser decided I should get nothing. Keep in mind that something similar could happen to you.
My first appt made was cancelled and I never received a call saying they had cancelled it. I drove 25 minutes to be told the doctor called in so I had to reschedule. I went in the second time, and was seen by a doctor who told me that my ** birth control was not correctly inserted the first time. She continued to pull and tug on it, to the point to where I passed out from force and trauma. There were a few different nurses in the room when I passed out to help me, however once 5:00 hit (closing time) there were only 2 left in the room, plus the scheduler. The doctor came back in and said that because I was not stable, they could not let me drive home. I said my ride wouldn't show up for about 30 mins. One of the nurses mentioned that since it was closing time, they could not keep me in their department. They asked if it was okay they take me to the ER, and I was hesitant because I knew I could not afford an ER visit.
I asked if they would charge me to keep me in the ER and she said yes. She proceeded to "look-up" what it would cost me for my er visit and quoted me $420, so I agreed. The nurse that was assigned to me recommended that I get an EKG done, so I agreed. I was in the ER for a little over an hour and was billed $1233. I don't mind paying for the work I got done during my visit but to add a $3000 fee to JUST BE IN THE ER is overly excessive, especially because I was never placed in a hospital room. Just in the hallway. I never received my new birth control, I never received any results in regards to my EKG, however I did receive a bill 3x's the amount quoted!
Also, filed a grievance for this and the case managers response was that he thought I did not understand my deductible, and that he contacted the supervisor and she said that there is NO WAY a nurse could quote me a visit to the ER. Not only did they scam me during my visit, they also would not return my phone calls on this issue and did not mail me the appeal form as I requested. WORST INSURANCE AND CARE PROVIDERS EVER. I plan on canceling my insurance with them and would rather pay the gov for not having insurance the rest of the year.
Kaiser Permanente expert review by Joseph Burns
Kaiser Permanente is a unique health care management program that is located mainly in the western United States. In California, Colorado and seven other states, patients who have Kaiser coverage get health care services, including hospital stays, at Kaiser health facilities.
Offers low-cost health plans: Kaiser offers several different levels of service with varying premiums, deductibles and co-pays.
Kaiser offers all services itself: This company provides health care services as well as health care coverage, making it easier to get needed services and file claims.
Online application process: It’s easy to get a quote and sign up for Kaiser.
Best for: Students, employees, heads of families
Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company Information
- Company Name:
- Kaiser Permanente