25 May 2006

Kaiser Permanente customer service

We're switching our insurance from Pacificare to Kaiser Permanente since the insurance rate is about to go up to $1115 to insure the four of us. That's $1115 a month, not $1115 a year. Kaiser will still be taking a chunk, at $871, but it's not quite as painful a chunk. Our season tickets to the Colorado Rapids for all four of us, on the center line of the field on the fourth row, so close we can spit on Fernando Clavijo, don't cost as much as one month of health insurance.

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how long it will take me to get someone on the phone at Kaiser to answer questions about coverage so we can plan our flex bux and find a pediatrician? It's been 20 minutes so far. This includes three transfers and a hangup.

This isn't much worse than the service at Pacificare, though - I've spent at least an hour on the phone with Pacificare over the past two days trying to figure out 1) why they just withdrew payment on an urgent care visit last January (they don't have it in their system that they withdrew payment, but the explanation of benefits they sent says they withdrew the payment), and 2) why they haven't paid two claims that have been submitted twice, rejected once, and ignored the second time - which they also say they don't have in their system, including the rejection.

Been on the phone for an hour now, been transferred to nine different people, been hung up on twice, been told I couldn't be heard twice. Left a message in one person's voice mailbox, got transferred to another voice mailbox that hasn't been set up to receive messages yet but said their office closes at 5 (it's 4:55). I've tried just waiting

I'm not much for government interference in much of anything, but right now I'm all for requiring automated phone systems to deliver a caller to an operator when the caller presses 0, at least during their regular business hours.

Hour and twenty minutes. Reached someone in appointments (person number eleven) who said to call appointments tomorrow and have someone transfer me to benefits, because the main customer service line is nothing but a loop. But benefits closed at 5:00 pm. Lovely.


Red Storm said...

Before you switch to Kaiser, you might want to check out all the things patients have been saying about them. They're a nightmare. Don't go there. You can find links to some more sites on my blog,

Good luck,
Red Storm

Alice H said...

Believe it or not, Kaiser Colorado is ranked higher than Pacificare Colorado. Worse or worser? Do I wany nightmares of snakes on a plane or flesh-eating zombies?