Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance
Kaiser Permanente's tag line, "When you live well, you thrive" encapsulates the company's operational model effectively, especially when it comes to things like fitness program discounts, coverage options and applicable medical specialties. However it neglects some things that may cause one to shy away, pending on what they're looking for in health insurance. Kaiser Permanente has some of the things that are mainstream in the health insurance industry: fast claims processing, online account management, multiple coverage options, and of course reliable customer service.
Knowing someone is there to answer your questions is always nice to have, especially when it comes to your health insurance. It also stands out a bit with its strong financial standing and low premiums. There are a few drawbacks, of course. At this time, Kaiser Permanente isn't available in all 50 states. Moreover, although their premiums are low, their plans are pricey. Plus, you can't get short-term plans, which limits your choices in case you ever find yourself moving to a state where the coverage is not supported. It's not all bad, Kaiser Permanente seems to be doing well in the health insurance industry, but at this time, their clientele may be limited. Check it out to see if fits your needs.
While other companies strive to offer the best customer service, Kaiser Permanente goes above and beyond just about every other provider. Since there are plenty of online account management services, a user will never worry about a lack of information. This doesn't mean that there is only an FAQ a forum and a database. No, it's easy to talk to a live person via chat and phone. Or, if the matter is not urgent, one can send an email, which will usually garner a response in a day or two, if not much sooner.
Provided a potential client lives in the area where Kaiser Permanente offers services, it's easy to get started. After putting in the zip code, a user can see a host of plans, and the website will list all the important information such as deductible, max out-of-pocket cost and the cost of a primary care office visit. To get a quote on the monthly cost, a user will only have to click the get a quote button to proceed. Furthermore, the website makes it easy to see if one qualifies for special assistance based on their income.
At any point of the application process, a user can click the live chat button and easily chat with a specialist who can walk the user through the process. Otherwise, to get started, one will only have to put in their birthday and proceed with the basic medical questions. Once all the information is submitted, one can easily get a quote and select a plan.
It's not fun to speak on the phone, especially when it comes to medical and billing problems. Furthermore, nobody wants to leave things alone and hope for the best. With some insurance companies, this means either sitting on the phone listening to music, waiting for days for a response or sending a letter via mail. This is not acceptable for most people, especially in our digital age, and people are lucky that Kaiser Permanente has plenty of self-service options.
For starters, if you have a common ailment and don't know exactly what it is, the website has a database listing symptoms and solutions to your problems. Naturally, if you have a serious medical problem or are in serious pain, it's wise to head to a doctor or the hospital. But, with physician-reviewed health information, a patient can log into the website and figure out the problem. This is great during cold and flu season, when a person doesn't want to sit in the doctor's office or hospital for hours just to get an obvious diagnosis.
On the website, by logging into the "My Health Manager" a patient can access his or her records, email their doctor and even make appointments. This is in stark contrast to the past when one would have to go in-person or make a long phone call. To make things easier, bill-paying is practically flawless, and a customer can even pay his or her bills automatically. Finally, when accessing medical records in the old days, a patient would have to go to his or her doctor and request the files. Now, once logged into the health manager, it's easy to see results of tests and old information that may be useful in the future.
Basic Plans for young and healthy
One common problem a lot of younger and in-shape people have is dealing with high-end and costly insurance Plans. Not everyone needs prescription coverage or needs to visit their doctor once or twice a month. In the past, there were plenty of bare bones plans that covered a young and healthy person in case of emergencies. Now, this isn't the case, and Kaiser Permanente is taking advantage of this, and the provider offers enough plans for the young and healthy.
With the Deductible Catastrophic Plan, one can pay very little out of pocket and still enjoy some coverage. The great thing is, with the Deductible Catastrophic Plan, one can still get the first three visits free of charge. The Deductible Catastrophic Plan is a huge benefit to someone with no kids who rarely gets sick but still wants to be covered in case of a serious medical illness or car accident. If circumstances change, which they often do, a person can easily change his or her plan for one with more coverage. Either way, the Deductible Catastrophic Plan is a great starter plan for someone who is young and doesn't need to spend a lot of money on health insurance.
The customer service is great, and the plans are great. Kaiser Permanente is a well-known name, and many love the provider. The only major drawback is that it's not available everywhere in the country. Another minor drawback is that the health plans are not always easy to understand, but with superb customer service, one can find the plan that works for their situation, all while having it explained to them. Kaiser Permanente is also not great for people who need a short-term plan as there are specialized providers for that.
Verdict - Good
Kaiser is an HMO (health management organization), meaning that you can only get medical treatment from health care providers with which the company has signed agreements. Its health insurance value proposition includes so many goodies if you live in one of the covered states. Kaiser serves Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. If you live in one of these states seriously look at signing up for their policy.