About Kaiser Permanente Insurance
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My husband and I have been Kaiser Permanente (KP) members for the past two years. I am currently unemployed and my husband has a contractual job and it's painful to see hundreds of dollars spent every month just to receive a terrible service. Primary doctors practice cookbook medicine instead of INDIVIDUALIZED management to the patients. We experienced first-hand frustrations from my husband's primary care when the KP computer won't let him order a simple stool exam because my husband is less than 45 years old. My husband is being worked up for anemia and a basic stool exam for a young patient was impossible for the doctor to order.
For my case, I ended up going to another private specialist for my hormonal management. True enough, my Kaiser doctor was not aware that for women of childbearing age, TSH level should be <2.5. I didn't mind paying more for the Private Specialist. She explained every tests she ordered and the symptoms I was experiencing. So presently, I'm paying a private specialist to manage my endocrine problems on top of monthly Kaiser health insurance.
Overall, our experience with KP primary care was terrible. Doctors are overloaded with patients and paperworks. They type at their computers all throughout the consult. They just wanna get rid of you as fast as they can. They are being dictated with their computers and if the algorithm won't let them refer to a specialist or order laboratories, they just CAN'T.
Son's insurance is through Kaiser Permanente. Son was in a car accident but was not feeling well the next day so went to urgent care. Urgent care advised we might be better served at Kaiser's Trauma center at Aurora Hospital. Got to the Kaiser Trauma center in Aurora Hospital and was greeted by a covid patient checking in ahead of us, fever coughing, can't breathe, the husband with covid checking in behind us... Nothing done to isolate them, they were left in the general waiting room. Hack, hack, hack... Serenaded us as we waited. Blood on the waiting room floor dried. No attempt to clean. Bathroom, vomit in the sink, smeared blood on the floor. No spacing from other patients and no one, not a soul attempting to clean anything! Note we and five other patients waited in the waiting room.
I have quarantined for a year and Kaiser sends us into the bowels of HELL! For all this, we have advised nothing they can do for a concussion... Yet Kaiser could do nothing at Urgent care...except guarantee our exposure. I will sue the living F out of Kaiser if I contract this now after being so careful! This place was an absolute TOILET! BEWARE!
When I first joined Kaiser Permanente Medicare, it was very good. In the last two years it has become pretty terrible. I am 74 with Afib and contracted covid no dr. response to email period. Finally got telecon with other doctors but wasted days trying to get help. Called the 800 number and told no telecons available. Couldn't get one online either until daughter tweaked system and I finally got one and follow up but it was too late to mitigate the symptoms really effectively.
I called the Dr. I spoke to on last telecon and he told me to go to ER; I did. He stated they should put me on IV of some kind to help me get over it. Went to Ontario CA ER they didn't treat for the Covid but told me I was diabetic and had been for some time, my dr never told me and sugar level was over 300 really poor. I feel that if you are ill and need help you can no longer trust your Kaiser dr. to help you. It definitely no longer deserves 5 stars. I am changing doctors if not plans. Don't just switch to Kaiser for their reputation which I feel is no longer deserved, but do your homework especially if you have pre-existing conditions.
Once Kaiser got a 5 Star rating they quit caring. Don’t count on getting the health care you need. I waited on line to talk my doctor/nurse for 45 minutes. I was told my doctor would call me back before end of day, I never heard back! Second day I called my doctor and was told again she would call me back, 15 minutes before she was to go home she had her nurse call me, to tell me she was leaving the office. Next day I did a walk in appointment was asked why I didn’t contact my doctor sooner. I’ve had Group Health/Kaiser for 30 years, their health care went in the toilet, I’ll be looking for different health care in November. Covid vaccine sign up is non-existent! Sad!
Kaiser is great if you are able to self diagnose a UTI or just want a work note for a bum knee. If you actually need care they are the worst. I understand COVID is an issue but I was told not to go to urgent care for a potentially broken ankle because they didn't want me to potentially be exposed to COVID. I was instead asked to see a doctor virtually who would order an x-ray and then review it. My x-ray was ordered and I ended up IN URGENT CARE to get it completed. The doctor had ordered the wrong kind of x-ray and I ended up having to sit next to someone with COVID symptoms for a full hour before they figured it out.
It has now been 5 days since the x-ray and I am unable to get ahold of my doctor, an x-ray tech, or medical records to find out if it is broken. I was hung up on, told that I would definitely hear within a few hours three days ago, and then told that I could get a copy from medical records (false: they can't give me the x-ray for 5-10 business days) to have someone else read it. What is the point in having health insurance if they are only able to help when it is not an emergency?
I've been a member of Kaiser Permanente for more than 25 years. When I enrolled, it was considered the best HMO available. It was much lower in cost than alternatives. I could use outside providers for very little more. The doctors were all splendid. I sent countless friends and clients to them. The cost skyrocketed over the years. In the year before the ACA was enacted, I was paying just under $800 monthly for increasingly poor care and ever-increasing co-pays and deductibles. Doctor turnover was (and remains) huge. Kaiser became the only ACA insurance available after a few years and the obviously enormous increase in patient load made things even worse. They are understaffed and getting an appointment, Covid or not, takes forever. Thankfully, I qualified for Medicare a few years ago and costs dropped significantly for me, but the care has continued to worsen.
The worst thing about Kaiser is the reversal of its original marketing message -- that patients should take an "active" role in their care. You were encouraged to do your own research and discuss your doctor's diagnosis, even challenging it. All of that is gone. I mean GONE. The doctors stereotypically regard themselves as infallible and resent any questioning of them. One of my doctors is so detached and irritable that they are like a cartoon parody that causes me to laugh for the wrong reasons. I've been refused essential tests that earlier doctors ordered every year because of a medical condition; it turned out the doctors had not even read my "chart" and didn't know about the condition.
Every time I've been assigned a new doctor, I go through a major struggle over a vital medication I've taken over 25 years. I have to battle them for weeks over it and it's obviously all because the drug was stupidly classified as a controlled substance and they don't want to be accused by the feds of over-prescribing it. I understand that, but how about checking my history and calling my original specialist? It always works out, but it's involved loud arguing and the implicit accusation that I'm abusing the drug.
Now, of course, we're all dealing with Covid. Friends with other insurance companies have received information about vaccines and have already been granted appointments. Kaiser? No way. Just the usual vague rhetoric. They push you away and tell you to contact your county health department. Seriously. I wish I had left Kaiser years ago, but there are advantages to it. A principal one is the way lab services, radiology, pharmacy, even some surgery are all done under the same roof. The same is available through Emory here in Atlanta and the rumor was that it would be allying with Kaiser. Unfortunately, it hasn't. There are of course devoted people at Kaiser. Here's one secret: Whenever possible, ask to see an NP or PA. They are ALWAYS more thorough than the MDs and actually listen to you.
Kaiser won't let me take a COVID Test despite being insured by them and experiencing loss of smell and taste. I played by the rules and stayed away from the clinic/hospital this whole year to avoid overwhelming them since they were going to have their hands full with COVID Patients. I am experiencing symptoms and need to get tested to avoid spreading to my coworkers and customers. I can't afford to quarantine myself because I wont get paid. I don't get all the free stuff that unemployed people get. It's just disappointing that Kaiser will not let me take a test with the symptoms that I have and with my history of 3 heart attacks. I'm a paying customer and an essential worker. Meanwhile my unemployed friend has taken five COVID tests already and has no issues at all. It's not right and I expect more from my healthcare provider. Abandoning me when I need you is not right.
I've had them for a couple of years now and it's been a good experience. Reasonable premiums and good care. Because of their business model, you don't have to worry about being denied coverage or unexpected charges.
Long phone wait times, inability to access doctors' offices to leave message, extraordinarily long wait times to talk to appointment schedulers, same thing for pharmacy inquiries. There seems to be no accountability for any issues. Contacting member services is a joke - they don't care. These seem like systemic problems that Kaiser is unwilling to fix and is hiding from the public.
Very long wait times on phone, and then not helpful, the website sucks, wait time for an appointment is over 30 days. Crappy doctors, expensive for the little you get. They have excuses for not giving proper care.
Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company Information
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- Kaiser Permanente
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