I called Kaiser Permanente Membership Services regarding a contract change which was extremely time-sensitive. Translation: I had only a day or two to ensure some contract changes that would save me some money on my sky-high monthly independent-contractor health care dues. One more translation: I am a little old nanny, and what I pay in monthly fees could feed a small nation. Okay - more like a village.
I called the # offered. After a 22-minute wait (love that Muzak!) the bored Kaiser-person said I needed to call another #. Long story short but not so sweet, I was on the phone for most of an afternoon, being transferred from here to there to some planet far, far away, and nothing was resolved.
I decided to take an (unpaid) morning off of work to venture a trip to the Kaiser headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. When I arrived, it became clear where all that money hundreds of thousands of us send monthly is going. The place is castle-like in size and appearance; fortress-like in security. A security guard informed me that I was not allowed to go up the winding staircase to the membership offices to request help. Would he deliver a letter to them? No, not allowed. It seems he was not authorized to leave his post.
"Did I come to the CIA instead of Kaiser?" I asked. No reply. Not authorized to joke, I guess. I was told to wait, and a Kaiser representative would be down to talk to me. I waited. And waited. It was better than being on the phone, because I got a break from that damn music.
The upshot: I left. I had reached my humiliation quota for the day. On my ride home, all I could think of was all the money I have sent them throughout the years. And how a good customer like myself is treated. And deep regret that because our health care system is so unfair, an honest working person should be subjected to this kind of treatment. And deep compassion for all the other Kaiser Permanente customers who share my frustration and disillusionment.
UNION CITY, CALIFORNIA -- I own a business and recently switched to Kaiser for me and my employees' medical insurance. These are a few of the things that happened in the first one month that had me regret my decision to move to Kaiser:
Kaiser did not send any information about how to access account to the members. I, the group admin, had to send multiple emails to get the membership id information. However, when it came to billing, the first month premium was immediately charged to my account. The members were not able to avail any healthcare services for one month because they did not have any clue about how to take an appointment with the doctors.
There is no way to contact them outside business hours, not even to make payments! There is just one phone number for customer support and that too has very restrictive hours which makes it hard for someone with a full-time job.
I did not get any information about how to set up account for online access. Neither did I get information about how and where to send payments.
The notification of the first bill came on two days after the bill was due! How is anyone supposed to know that the bill is already due if the notification comes later than the due date?
There is no way to reset password online for group administrators. You can't even check for email responses without logging in! This is too much restriction in the name of security. This is so ironic because when I called an operator reset my password and told me the password over phone! What kind of security is this when you can't reset my password online and a live person can just speak out the password over the phone!
The website is really very difficult to use. The navigation controls are tedious and non-intuitive. It is very slow and does not provide information about how to pay bills. I hope this review helps you make decision on choosing the right medical insurance plan.
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA -- I applied for Kaiser's health insurance at the beginning of January 2009 with the intention of starting health coverage at the beginning of March, however now I don't believe that this will happen.
I wasn't very happy when I found out that I needed to fill in a 20 page health questionnaire when I started the application process online, especially since I had never had to do one with Blue Cross, but I pushed through it anyway. I finally got to the Women's health section of the application where they asked when was your last period. Since I am on Depo (birth control shot who's side effect is stopping a woman's period) I answered truthfully with September 2003. Of course this pulled up all kinds of red flag warnings on the site, it then asked me why which of course I answered with "taking Depo".
I didn't hear anything from Kaiser for almost a month and when I went to check my application status online it just said 'processing'. I finally received a phone call from someone at Kaiser (9:00 at night) asking me, once again, when my last period was and what medication/birth control I was on. Finally I received a letter from them, basically implying that they didn't trust me and that I would have to go down to one of their lab facilities and take a pregnancy test, before they would consider my application.
Oh and they apparently only gave me two weeks to complete this from the date that the letter was written (one week and one day from when the letter was actually delivered) or they would figure that I was pregnant and they would throw away me application.
My anguish is over the fact that if they were actually medical professionals then they would know that one of the side effects of taking Depo is that you do not receive your period and that if I had been pregnant since September 2003...I would be DEAD (with a 5 year old inside)! Even after I take this pregnancy test, they can still deny me...a perfectly healthy 25 year old with no prior medical problems...WTF? Just because I am on birth control? If you apply to Kaiser just know that you might be in for a very long, hassled time!
PANORAMA CITY VOLUNTEER, CALIFORNIA -- Deplorable treatment of senior volunteer- "bullying" humiliation, Oct 17, 2011. Panorama City pharmacy n3. Sorry for this contact but hopeful of resolution. This situation has no dignity or values of KP and surely embarrasses all of KP I wish to bring to your attention, numerous deplorable acts on me as a 4 year senior volunteer at Panorama City Facility. Especially arrogant attitude of managers to act equally for justice and to ascertain factual accounts and base a decision on the merit of the complaint or the employee's action.
In order to capsulize these events: I was set upon by **, in pharmacy 3 n she followed and antagonized me in three separate instances and "screamed" in my face. Finally, she tracked me from the supply room where she pushed a cart into the shelves near me as I removed an eyelash clouding my vision and did the same while I read the bulletin board and finally to the other side of the pharmacy approximately 30-35 feet. She actually pursued me. She screamedtype that she lurched forward at me and lowly screamed in my face. She was trying to bait me into a fight with contact but I disappointed her--sounds odd but it's 100% true--just not audible throughout the room.
Security cameras!! In addition I was in resource management and at least 6 rns can vouch for my demeanor and even improvements, I made several suggestions that resulted in better archived files, more functional meeting room and accuracy of work file and pick up point for tasks for me.
Evening vol dir allowed a tottering older woman to have her personal dog at a KP Banquet where capacity was overflowing with over 500-600 peoplethe woman even tripped and fell into the carving station this is the kind of bias and mindless decisions that permeate KPunless you are chosen- why bother you with such trivia. Well to illustrate the culture of arrogance that even includes managers, employees and gender baiting all sources have been exhausted. There are no scruples of KP that KP can be proud of in this activity.
I thought KP had a policy of non retaliation and fairness. It is not being exhibited to show you this. I stated that I would prefer to have the door open in the resources office as it has been for over 3 years. I was thoroughly screeched at by one of your director/a manager practically slammed the door. KP is so blind to old volunteers as to miss this implicationof course you get itsuppose a young woman said that, what should the manager have done? Enough my focus is on **'s cohorts aggressive and erratic/belligerent behavior in pharmacy n3. Respectfully submitted for your consideration. Please by June 1 2012, appreciate it.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- My wife and I are life long Kaiser members and medicare part d participants, so you can imagine the shock we experienced when we learned that we can (and now do) get all of our prescriptions filled at either Costco or Walmart.
When I filed a grievance, Kaiser responded that these stores charge lower prices to get customers "in the door". Is not Kaiser getting millions in medicare part d funds? I am going to list the specific drugs my wife and I use; the price comparisons are based on prices quoted by Kaiser, as well as prices we are now paying at Costco. We require medications for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. Keep in mind that any customer at Costco can get these prices; no special membership is required other than what all customers are required to do to be eligible to shop there: please note that all drugs are the same dosage, and same quantity.
Price comparison of prescription drugs at
Generic drug Costco Kaiser difference
1) amlodpine 8.32 19.80 11.48
2) Lovastatin 10.83 20. 9.17
3) Glipizide 14.36 20. 5.64
4) Metformin 6.60 20. 13.40
5) Atenolol 6.50 10. 3.50
6) Lisinopril 7.91 19.60 11.69
Please note that with items 1,4 & 6, the Kaiser charge was twice what Costco charged.
I work for KP in northern Ca, and I am very satisfied with KP's quality of service- Not because I personally receive great service from my doctor, and staff from receptionists to medical specialists, but because I have the opportunity to hear the comments from hundreds of patients per day, almost all of which are positive.
Yes there are going to be those who may not like their doctor, or get billed incorrectly, or may have some other minor complaint, but there is always a way to get these matters corrected. Taking time to learn the KP system will provide a tremendous change of experience. If you aren't happy with your doctor, look for a new one. If you aren't happy with the way your doctor diagnoses you, request a specialist.
KP is the largest medical system that provides 99% of all medical needs, (there are a couple procedures that KP outsources, such as PET's, and Lasik eye surgery) providing a patient with a seamless continuity of care not found with any other medical system, including Canada's universal health system.
My main point is that the system is like clock-work providing you have a good doctor, or pcp. A good Kaiser doctor acts as a central hub for all other care you may require from KP, such as specialists, medicine, and surgery pre/post checkups. After you have lab work, or a mammogram, or whatever test, your pcp should be proactively calling you to inform you if anything is out of range.
I think Kaiser Permanente is awesome. I have been happy with them for over 20 years, and I have only been working for them for 3 years. Now that I work for KP, I can truly attest that they really do make patient satisfaction their number one priority, and they are continuously trying to improve their system to stay on top of the game with their ever increasing patient base.
MARYLAND -- Beware...Kaiser is very misleading. Do not apply for an Individual plan online unless you are definitely going to sign up with them. In requesting a quote, they require you to input your credit card information. Do NOT give them your information unless you are 100% certain you want the plan you applied for and agree to the price. They will take money out of your account eventually.
I inquired, requested a quote, in mid-April. Online it states that the 1st month's premium will come out and each month thereafter it would come out the beginning of the month. I was constantly calling to find out if I had been approved and what the cost of the other plans were. The end of May, they deducted payment for coverage for the months of May & June (yet their website stated that the month of June would come out the beginning of that month).
Every time I called membership services, I would speak to someone different. I would keep track of their names and get direct #s. Each time I was told I would be getting a refund in a few days' time. After a few days, I would call back because I had not received a refund. It is now June and I have received a refund, BUT they have now taken another two months coverage out of my account!!! It is very frustrating. Health ins. is not cheap.
I sympathize with all the reviews. They have horrible customer service reps. I had a baby in December and could not leave the hospital until I made my baby an appointment. I had to get the baby registered. It took over two hours on the telephone and they would transfer me from one person to another. Finally, the doctor from the hospital called Kaiser and it was taken care of. I have never seen the same doctor when visiting Kaiser even though I am assigned a primary care physician. The doctors are clueless. I usually tell them what to do. Good luck.
CALIFORNIA -- If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea Kaiser only covers the treatment if you are on the $5.00 or $10.00 copay plan. If not you are out of luck. The equipment costs around $1000.00 and I can't afford that. Untreated sleep apnea can: Increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes. Increase the risk for or worsen heart failure. Make irregular heartbeats more likely. Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents. Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. It is unbelievable to me that treatment isn't covered under all Kaiser health plans.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Kaiser Permanete is a bad health care system. In a nutshell, the doctors are rude and the services are just a big joke. I am amazed that no one has filed a lawsuit against them yet. They don't care about their patients. All they see is how fast they can get you out of their facility! The doctors (ER) don't really care. They just try to get you out as fast as they. I guess the bottom line is that, they try to save some $$$. So, it seems the system is not really a proper, functioning system - should we say....
Anyway I am just saddest to see that we are a big nation like USA should have the greatest health care in the world - but it turned out that other country like Canada, Switzerland, have the best health care - hospital service, etc. Kaiser is a big broken system that doesn't seems to work.
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA -- I was put on a medication that made me unable to think, converse, and remember so that I appeared on the wrong day for an appointment and another time couldn't remember it at all even with the reminders for my cardiology appointments. Most of the time I didn't know what day it was or the time of day. When I went to see my GP doctor, he said it wasn't the medications and wanted to refer me to mental health care for depression. The cardiologist wouldn't give me another appointment even though I was on aspirin, atenolol, nitroglycerin, plavix, diltiazem, and the culprit flexeril.
I read in an article that flexeril built up in the system of the elderly and caused side effects and quit taking it. Then it took a while but I finally was able to think clearly again. Now my cardiologist says I'm stable and with the meds and he doesn't need to see me again unless I have a problem. If so, I can always call and make an appointment. Last two times I had chest pains I went to the emergency room - no time to wait for an appointment.
I'm not having chest pains and medications are keeping me stable.