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June 08, 2007

Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Insurance

Health insurance is an issue and need for everyone. There are, for people who can afford them, many choices. For those without resources, the choices are far more limited but, under some circumstances, a good plan may be available to impoverished people through various 'partnerships' with public agencies. No matter what your circumstances, choices need to be discovered, examined and evaluated - good decisions for you and your family need be made. This review is a summary of one of the more comprehensive choices now available in a number of states including California (where it began), Hawaii, Oregon, Ohio, Colorado and several others, Kaiser Permanente. My family and I have been a Kaiser patients ourselves for well over thirty years, our child and grandchildren were born there, my wife and I have had surgeries, gotten eyeglasses, multiple procedures and prescriptions as functions of our membership and I have actually been employed as a Provider with them (a Clinical Social Worker in Psychiatry) for the past seven years, so I have experienced this system of services both as a consumer as well as someone on the 'inside', a care provider. These comments reflect my aggregate understanding of Kaiser, it's values and drawbacks, who it works well for and who it doesn't and it's merits relative to other insurance choices. Should you find yourself in that seminally important choice making that important decision, it is my hope that this brief discourse will be of some help to you.

Firstly, on the notion if "Integration" of services.
Kaiser is described as being fully integrated. That means that any specialist you might need to see or any medically related service you might need - everything from an inoculation, to an outpatient visit to Emergency care, a routine check up with your own doctor (Kaiser refers to this person as your Primary Care Physician), intensive inpatient treatments or even surgeries, occupational and physical therapies are all provided by Kaiser staff who have access to each other's information and, consequently, fewer errors are apt to occur as they relate to poor communication between a number of private doctors. There are a few exceptions - for example, Kaiser does not maintain it's own Psychiatry or inpatient chemical dependency program beds, but contracts for them with local specialized hospitals and programs - but, by-in-large, your medical needs will be me by Kaiser staff and ordinarily at one location! The outpatient clinicians are where the hospitals (Medical Centers) are. It is convenient in this way.

Is Kaiser cheaper than other coverages?
No, it is not. Years ago, it marketed itself as being an economical health care system. No more. Now it markets itself as being the 'best' available health care system. However, even so, a range of plans are now available that offer everything from fully priced, all inclusive plans with minor co-pays and no deductibles to less expensive plans geared to the healthier among us which cost a lot less but require more payment upfront when used. This customization of plans is available both to employers who buy it for groups or to individuals seeking to self insure themselves and their families. You can select a plan that makes the most sense for you.

Click here for your free California Kaiser health insurance quote now!

Posted by healthinsurance at June 8, 2007 12:33 PM

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