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40 Reviews & Complaints

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Kaiser Permanente Prescription Costs
Posted by Rovinaround on 04/26/2010
We've been Kaiser members for about 30 years and find that they have become very expensive. I just received my Prescriptions which have increased in cost compared to those I purchased in December 2009. Today I checked with Costco and found that their retail cost is slightly more than half as much as my co-pay through Kaiser. If you belong to Kaiser, check around with Costco or Walmart before purchasing prescriptions through the Kaiser pharmacy.

     
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Posted by GenuineNerd on 2011-02-20:
I get two prescriptions filled from Kaiser, but I transferred one (Pravastatin) from Kaiser to Giant Eagle because they charge only $10 for a 90 day supply (Kaiser charged $44.) I still have Lisinopril filled at Kaiser, though, because that is still around $10 for 90 days.
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My experience with Kaiser's Emergency room
Posted by Dm90027 on 04/13/2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I arrived at 12:00 with a bad case of cold.

I was discharged just after 2:00 PM. ( I know this because of my parking ticket).
Within this time, I was first seen by a nurse, blood pressure, temperature, etc., then put in a room, then was examined by the doctor, he ordered blood works, ekg, x-ray of my lungs, met with by the doctor again telling me my medical conditions, got an injection of an antibiotic, got a prescription for additional antibiotics, went to the Pharmacy, got my medicine, paid a total of $45 and let the Emergency room just after 2:00 PM.

Just that experience amazed me. But believe it or not, the next day, the Emergency room doctor called me to ask me how I was.

This is fantastic. My complements to Kaiser's staff and physicians at the Emergency room on Sunset Blvd.
     
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Posted by clutzycook on 2010-04-13:
They gave you an antibiotic for a cold? Won't do you a bit of good.
Posted by saj80 on 2010-04-14:
Not only that, clutzy, but this person went to the ER for a cold; this is why our health insurance and medical industry is out of control now.
Posted by i_am_canadian on 2010-04-14:
How bad was the 'cold' though? Sometimes your chest and head will fill up so badly you feel like you can't breathe. Did this person think that perhaps it was advancing to something more serious? I wasn't in their body, so I won't pass judgement on something like this.
A 2 hour wait time for an illness such as that however is pretty good, I remember waiting in our local hospital's ER from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. And that's not even counting the time spent waiting for my test results.
Canada's health care system is a gift and a luxury, but God it needs some fine tuning.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-04-14:
and some people cannot withstand simple colds the way others can.

when my father gets a cold, if it's not addressed right away it usually turns in to pneumonia.

so the antibiotics can come in play to make sure nothing else comes in with the cold.

it's also possible the OP was wrong about it being a cold - hence it's severity - and that the doctors found that it was something else instead.

anyway i'm glad the OP is feeling better and is happy with the doctors. =)
Posted by Starlord on 2010-04-14:
One time I ran an icepick through my left hand, and had Crystal take me to the ER ar Casa Grande Regional Medical Center. I was there over five hours, because I had to wait for a women with about eight kids with sniffles. Two hours is faster than I ever got seen in Arizona, and $45? At the old Pinal General Hospital, my visit was $137 for the emergency room, and more for the doctor who came in to stitch my lip. you got off lucky. I was thinking as I read your post that what you probably had was pneumonia, because the common cold is caused by a virus, and antibiotics won't touch a cold. Glad to hear you are better.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-14:
This is a touchy subject, since my son and I seem to have been born near or around the immediate vicinity of the planet Kryptonite. We never, and I can't stress enough the word "never", get sick. My wife and daughter on the other hand...the wind blows in the wrong direction and they're sick for days. I sometimes am accused of not being sensitive enough towards their needs, because I too believe that the common cold, sniffles, aches & pains, fevers, do not warrant a trip to the E.R. The very definition of E.R. is Emergency Room. Emergency. Is a cold or flu an emergency? I personally don't think so. My wife does. For this, I hold the opinion she is delusional. Sorry Honey(: An emergency is when you cut or lacerate your finger, you were in a wreck, you broke a bone, you're having an asthma attack, you're having dizzy spells, etc...something that may seriously impact your immediate well-being. For the runny noses, coughs, etc...go see your family doctor! If you don't have one, go to a clinic. But saj80 hit the nail on the head about the increasing cost of insurance due to these minor incidents tying up the precious time of the E.R. staff, not to mention those that are their for true medical emergencies.
Posted by MacOSXpert on 2010-04-20:
I was born at this particular kaiser permanente and I'm happy to know that they're still doing good.
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Kaiser Permanente poor customer service
Posted by EdwardV on 01/04/2010
I've been calling Kaiser customer service 866-238-2808 almost everyday for a week now to cancel my moms insurance policy and its bean a real pain. First of all most customer service reps are not that helpful. The representative I spoke today 10:01 ET 01/04/10 was the worst of them, she try to ignore all my questions and attempted to hang up on me. She was very rude.

It was also especially hard to send a fax to them, I faxed cancellation notice almost everyday and they have 2 days to verify if the fax went through. I've faxed my docs at home and thru outside fax service but when I try to verify later, they were not able to receive it.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Did you try sending them, via mail, a written documentation for cancellation since trying to do it by phone isn't working?
Posted by voiceoff on 2010-01-10:
RUDE people are everywhere and they consider you rude when you ask for help. Why are tehy in customer service wqhen they are really compnay service reps?
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Inexperience
Posted by Inexperienced on 12/23/2009
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Daughter is depressed. Has recovered from pain killers from a previous operation not done by Kaiser. Now since she has recovered from pain killers cannot get medication for her anxiety and continues to suffer. Kaiser continues to receive her as drug addicted and will not prescribe meds to relieve her condition. All of her drug test come back clean but they still diagnose her as an addict. Will need to go outside of system to receive proper care. In the meantime worried that she will seek self medication. Their drug and behaviour services are inept.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
Im staying out of this one....the doctors would know more than I would.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
This is not really consumer related.
Posted by Mrs. V on 2009-12-23:
Have Kaiser refer your daughter to a psychiatrist (*note* NOT a psychologist).

A psychiatrist can go over all concerns with your daughter about medications and give her a script.

If Kaiser refuses to do so, take your daughter to a hospital for an emergancy evauation if you think that she will self medicate or harm herself in anyway.

Posted by BEJ on 2009-12-23:
She needs to see a psychiatrist. Has she already been seeing one at kaiser or was in a general practitioner?
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Pharmacy service is the worst!
Posted by Chrissyatl on 11/19/2009
ALTANTA, GEORGIA -- I have been satisfied with Kaiser Permanente for 3 years, but this year they changed how they operated their on-site pharmacy. I checked, and this change is across all GA KP locations.

Every time a patient has a new prescription, he has to go to the pharmacy, wait in line to go to the window and order his prescription, and then sit down and wait 30 minutes - 1 hour for his name to come up on a sign board. Doesn't seem bad. But while he is waiting, there are at least 20 other KP members waiting for their prescriptions, too. Nobody waiting understands what could be taking the pharmacists so long, since this used to take about 5-10 minutes per customer.

If Kaiser would switch back to the 5-10 minutes-per-customer pharmacy operating model, I and the rest of their patients would be much more satisfied with their level of service!
     
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Posted by goduke on 2009-11-19:
Sounds like they've either changed the workflow for the pharmacy team or they've cut hours. Can you drop it off and come back later?
Posted by chrissyatl on 2009-11-20:
I called the first time I noticed the change and was told that it is a cost-saving measure. They closed their mail-out filling place and expect the clinic pharmacy locations to pick up the slack. This is why it takes forever to get a script filled. They are fully staffed, another confusing thing for the patients. I believe they've actually added pharmacy hours now, because the clinic now has appointment times until 8 pm during the week and on Saturdays.

Yes, it is possible to walk up to the window, order your prescription, and then drive off and do something else for an hour. The location of the clinic is not amidst a bunch of other retail, so there is nothing in the immediate vicinity to do with you time. One has to get in the car and drive elsewhere to do other errands. It's quite inconvenient, and I wish they could find a way to switch back to the old, wonderful way they ran their pharmacies.
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Most uncaring unknowing doctors.
Posted by Dawnb on 09/12/2009
LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA -- For several years I was having severe abdominal pain and I kept going to see different doctors at Kaiser begging them to do something. They told me "You have acid reflux" I have never had this in my life, but that is what they kept claiming. Everytime I went in they would give me a new pill to take and basically told me to deal with it. Finally one day while I was bent over in extreme pain I went to their awful urgent care clinic. The doctor came in pressed on my stomach I moaned he said "Oh you have gall stones" and walked out. It tooki this guy less then a minute to diagonose something that these other doctors could not over years!!!
Now I am having pain on my left side and numbness and I sometimes pass out. I went to Kaiser against my better judgment the other day and the doctor says "its Migranes here take these pills" So here we go again.
This time though I will have a back up plan and I don't believe a word that these pill pushers tell me.
     
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Posted by Skye on 2009-09-12:
Maybe you have a pinched nerve. I would see a specialist. You wouldn't want to pass out while driving, God forbid. Go to a neurologist.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-12:
Good advice Skye.

Gall Stones get worse and worse. Fatty foods and things like chocolate will make it flair up on you. Classic Gall Stone pain is across your upper back and abdomen. I had them and they are nothing nice. Pain pills will do little to help the pain unless you get enough to knock you out.
Posted by Skye on 2009-09-12:
Thanks Super! And good advice from you also.
Posted by Suusan B. on 2009-09-12:
I have been told for the last 15 years that I had acid reflux. Two months ago I experienced a pain attack so bad I contemplated calling 911 for the first time in my life. I went to my new doctor and he ordered an ultra-sound that revealed gallstones and two weeks later had my gallbladder removed. When dealing with HMO's like Kaiser you have to stand up for yourself and demand tests and the appropriate treatment. A doctor shouldn't just say "you have gallstones" without discussing with you a treatment plan because believe me, they won't just go away on their own.
It sounds to me like you have more than one thing going on here - - gallstones cause pain in your upper abdomen and back radiating towards your right side. Pain and numbness in your left side and passing out have nothing to do with your gallbladder. Again - - you need to make an appointment with a Kaiser physician (not go to urgent care) and demand that your health issues be addressed and resolved.
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Rude And Non Caring
Posted by Skydog on 08/26/2009
MONTCLAIR, CALIFORNIA -- After being seen by a doctor, the very next day I had Lab work done. The doctor told me he would have my results and some answers withing three days. A week went by and when I called an asked about the results I was told I could get them online. I guess I'm supposed to do my own diagnoses. I made another appointment, when I showed up, I was embarrassed by the receptionist that announced loudly in a lobby full of people that I would have to leave because my kaiser card was cancelled. Lovely, it took me two days to straighten out the mess that was an error due to the providers of my insurance. I pay $500 a month for a service I have never been able to use. I have never been able to get a prescription or even an answer about my health. Kaiser was nice enough to send me another email stating that I would have to pay non member prices for the previous treatment, "there wasn't any", if my insurance didn't retro the policy.

Needless to say the insurance company did retro, and thank God I don't owe Kaiser a cent. I am now making an appointment with a foreign non licensed doctor that isn't very expensive but at least he cares. I hope. Good work Kaiser, you saved money again by not finishing what you started, that's if they ever really started any work.
     
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Posted by BEJ on 2009-08-26:
Why would you go to a unlicensed physician--are you out of your mind? How do you know he is a physician--just because he says so? A physician is required to be licensed. I think you are incredibly naive to be considering going to an unlicensed physician.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-08-26:
but your insurance won't cover your visit to a foreign unlicensed doctor
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-08-26:
"I am now making an appointment with a foriegn non licensed doctor that isn't very expensive but at least he cares."

as long as you except the results if they are a failure.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
"foriegn non licensed doctor"
So, we'll be seeing your complaint about him soon enough.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-08-26:
How exactly was the front desk supposed to tell you that your policy had been cancelled. As for your lab results they probably only call if something is wrong.

BearKat, that is exactlly what I was thinking!
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Coverage
Posted by Babycasey on 08/25/2009
CALIFORNIA -- If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apenea 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.


     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
Unfortunately, that is the coverage level you chose to take, so you really can't complain about it.

You can always contact you state's legislators to see if anyone would be willing to pass a state statute to require coverage. Just expect your premiums to rise.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
babyc, call some local durable medical equipment providers. Many people buy c-pap machines and then never use them. They are considered used once that happens (even if they weren't) and can be sold at a great discount--1/2 price or less. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. The filters can be changed--and need to be periodically anyway. So, it is just like new. Also, try some free-standing sleep labs. We had closets full of used machines where I worked.

You will also need an appropriate mask. Most places will give you a discount if you don't have insurance coverage.

You need to be oriented on it's use, so buying a CPAP machine on-line is not a good idea, unless you can work a deal with the Kaiser sleep lab to train you on it's use. If they will train you, then on-line new machines could be a great option. In the meantime, see if they will loan you some equipment until you can secure your own. We bent over backwards to help people in need of equipment that could not afford it.

Sleep apnea is serious enough for you to pursue this treatment--even if you have to take out a loan or make payments. Good luck and I hope my info helps in some way.
Posted by Suusan B. on 2009-08-26:
Unfortunately I'll bet if you read through all the coverage clauses in your specific plan, sleep apenea is not covered. Honestly, you'd have to have a pretty high level plan (and be paying the price for it) for any insurance provider to fork out $1,000 for a piece of equipment. Could this be a matter that you have a deductible that isn't met and that may be the reason they want you to pay for it?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
When I worked in a private sleep lab, we had patients referred to us all the time from Kaiser. They had a sleep lab but were so booked up (and small) that they couldn't handle the load. The fact that they pay for the polysomnogram and not the needed equipment is a bit out of order. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder and should be addressed. They do not pay $1,000 for the equipment, believe me. We sure didn't and they are a much bigger operation than the one I worked for. They probably told the op it would cost them $1,000 though, which would include their profit for the machine. They pay much less for the equipment, probably 1/2, because they buy in bulk. We always took our patient's health into consideration and there were always ways to make it more affordable--even payment plans if no insurance coverage was available.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-08-26:
do those breath right strips help with this?
i know they claim to help prevent snoring
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
Great advice Kia on both of your posts!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
No, PE, they don't help sleep apnea. They probably help some people with nasal congestion though (which can also cause snoring).
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
Thanks, John! I am passionate about people getting treated for this. Another case of a (huge) medical facility only caring about the bottom line and not the patient. There are ways to make it more affordable, they are just not willing to fill the patient in on the options.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
I understand Kia. I have personal resentment against Kaiser so I couldn't respond to the post. I wish the person who posted this complaint the best of luck. I hope Kia's suggestion helps you find a resolution.

Again, health care reform! The system is broken down and is not working for people who need it! Something has to change.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
John, it really sucks for people like the op (and others with other unresolved problems). We often came across insurance like this. It made me sick that they would give you a dx test, but nothing more. What good does that really do in the end except cause more stress? Ugh!
Posted by JDSmith on 2009-08-26:
I also suffer from severe sleep apnea, and have used a CPAP for about 6 years. My first machine was purchased when I had Blue Cross, and was billed at a rate of $1,800.

About 3 years later, now covered by Kaiser, I needed to have the machine replaced due to excessive noise. Kaiser approved the replacement with out even as much as a doctor visit, and Apria Medical equipment provided me a new machine and mask for my $20 copay.

It is unfortunate that your Kaiser coverage does not appear to include the durable medical equipment, but if you do some web searching, you can find CPAP machines for as low as around $300. Even Amazon has them listed.

I would also suggest you could contact a local sleep diagnoses center, and ask about equipment options and costs.

They may be able to provide you with lower cost, or even discounted returned rental equipment. This is completely hygenic as long as you are provided new filters, hose and mask.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
good info JDSmith! I would never have thought to look at Amazon.
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Change of Historical Status
Posted by UCFirefly on 08/10/2009
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- KP has done it again. I say again because I had some level of patience for them. The did do certain things very well. However, upon terminating services with them, they changed the type of coverage I had to prior so as not to be inclusive of anything that I had payed for.

I have heard many times of other insurance companies refusing payment on the last month of rendered services when leaving their insurance, like how United Healthcare does it.

This is a personal first for me. I have never had a company change records and claim that I was not a member to avoid payments, when in fact, I was.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Are you saying that they should pay for something after you no longer have their insurance? I don't think I understand this post.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
The way I read it is that the OP is getting claims denied for the period that they were covered.

Contact someone at Kaiser, get names, be polite. I'm sure they'll resolve this for you...
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I have to say, I really like Kaiser!
Posted by Keldawwg on 05/28/2009
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I grew up in Sacramento, California, and we had Kaiser insurance my whole life. Back in those days, I remember waiting for literally hours to see my doctor... It was pretty bad, but it was also because their system was so completely overloaded... They had too many people for the hospital and clinics they had.

Now I'm all grown up, and although I work in San Jose, I live 60 miles away. My choices for insurance were Kaiser or a PPO that I would have to come into San Jose to see a doctor. I chose Kaiser because they have Hospitals and clinics pretty close to my home.

In the 19 years that I have had Kaiser on my own, I have no real complaints. I have never had to wait long enough to finish a magazine article when I go see my doctor or a specialist. The longest I have ever waited was for a blood draw, but the lab waiting room was packed! When I saw how many people were in front of me, I thought I'd be there all day, but it turned out to be about 45 minutes.

My wife is an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner, and she knows a lot about Kaiser. (She has never worked for them, but she does know quite a few nurses and doctors who do) She says that she likes Kaiser because it's so convenient and easy to get what you want from them. It does take a little effort on your part to work their system, but the Advice Nurse that you call into for questions or treatment has the ability to get you in to almost any specialist very quickly. ( A tip when talking to the Advice Nurse, you don't want to be macho and downplay your problem. Their questions are directed at you to screen whether you need immediate treatment or just a routine doctor visit with your PCP (Primary Care Physician) If you want to be seen today, there are frequently "code words" that if they hear them, they will schedule you for an almost immediate appointment... (It helps for me when my wife tells me to call the advice nurse, and be sure and say "Blah, blah, blah" But even if you don't know these code words, you can usually guess what kind of thing would trigger them to get you in right away... Say those things!)

I have had a few health issues over the years, and I can say that I am extremely happy to have had Kaiser. I got into a motorcycle accident five years ago, and I was in hospitals for about two months. The first 5 days I was in San Jose Trauma, and the bill from them was over $100,000. And they didn't do all that much besides dope me up and stabilize me... I had to have two hand surgeries, and over a month of rehab in the Vallejo rehab hospital. If I had the PPO insurance, that accident would've left me broke.

They just built a brand new hospital right at our little town's border, and it's really great. I have been to their emergency room twice, and the service has been excellent and very quick. If I was ever considering another job, one of my questions would be if Kaiser insurance was available. If not, I probably wouldn't go. :)
     
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Posted by sam35 on 2011-02-19:
I really liked Kaiser too. At least until I was hurt! You should not have to lie to see a Doctor.
Iam not a R.N but even I know To say you passed
out or your bleeding from your backside ! I think
I would stick with passing out . You would not like
what their going to do about bleeding from your backside !
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