Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company Review

Company Overview

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Doctor with patient in office. Getty Images/Tetra Images/Brand X Pictures

Kaiser Permanente is not just a health insurance company, but rather a managed care organization where consumers can purchase a health insurance policy and receive medical care from one of the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and medical centers. The company was founded in 1945 by Henry J. Kaiser and Sidney Garfield and is headquartered in Oakland, California. Kaiser offers medical services and health insurance in nine states; Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, California, Oregon, Washington, Ohio and the District of Columbia.

It is the largest managed care organization in the United States. Kaiser has written over 8 million health policies and has annual revenue of over $47 billion. There are approximately 167,000 employees with 37 medical centers and 611 medical offices. More than 14,000 physicians practice in the Kaiser managed care network.

Financial Strength and Customer Satisfaction

Fitch Ratings has given Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company an “A+” rating. Standard & Poor’s rates Kaiser with an “A+” rating as well. Kaiser also scores well in the area of customer service. Insure.com gives the company an 83.64% customer satisfaction rating. The company’s claims processing rated 4.5 out of 5, while customer service and value for price both received 4 out of 5 ratings. J.D. Power and Associates awarded Kaiser with the highest customer satisfaction ranking for health insurance for 6 consecutive years.

Kaiser Permanente is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a "B-" BBB rating.

Companies are not obligated to seek BBB accreditation although it does give the public a way to measure how the company resolves customer complaints.

Health Insurance Options

With Kaiser, you can purchase a health insurance policy where you use Kaiser’s healthcare provider network. The health plans available include classic plans, essential plans, HSA plans and advantage plans.

Classic Plan

With Kaiser’s classic health insurance plan, you pay a co-pay for doctor’s office visits. This includes unlimited doctor’s office visits, emergency room services, after-hours visits and generic drugs; all available with only a co-pay amount. The classic plans offer yearly deductibles of $1,500, $2,500, $3,500 and $5,000. Deductible amounts may vary by state.

Essential Plan

The essential health insurance plan offers co-pay options for covered outpatient services. After you have met your yearly deductible, there is no co-pay. The co-pay covers office visits, outpatient services and generic prescription drugs. The deductibles available with the essential plan are: $1,500, $3,000, $5,000 and $7,500. As with the classic plans, deductible amounts may vary by state.

Advantage Plan

Kaiser’s advantage plan offers primary doctor care visits, the first two specialist’s visits, emergency room services, after-hours visits and generic prescription drugs for a co-pay before you have met the year’s deductible. There is no charge for covered services after you meet the yearly deductible. Deductible amounts (may vary by state) are $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500.

Health Savings Plan

All health insurance plans with Kaiser have the option to add a Health Savings Plan (HSA) option.

This is a savings account where you can save money to apply toward your deductible expense or other health-related expenses. If you spend the money for health-related expenses, it is tax-free. The HSA-qualified plans have an individual deductible of $5,000 and a family deductible of $10,000.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • You are able to receive a quote for a health insurance policy and apply online.
  • High Customer Satisfaction Ratings in customer service and claims handling
  • The doctor’s office, lab and pharmacy is all under one roof

Cons

  • Policy holders are limited to choosing Kaiser Physicians and treatment centers unless there is an emergency and you are not close to a Kaiser facility.
  • Coverage is only available in 9 states and the District of Columbia

Company Contact Information

To learn more about Kaiser Permanente health insurance plans or to receive a quote online, you can visit the Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company website or call 1-800-245-3181.