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Old 01-27-2010, 08:43 AM
5,330 posts, read 6,121,958 times
Reputation: 2624


Originally Posted by lchoro View Post
"When her son broke his arm, the did nickel and dime her with co-pays. He broke his arm and she had to pay a copay. He had 6 follow ups related to the arm and she had to pay a copay for each one. I believe she said it was $30 each visit."

I don't have Kaiser and had only one visit for a broken arm to take x-rays, reset the hand, and put it in bandages and a splint.
You took the cast off by yourself 6-8 weeks later and verified your arm was good to go?

6 follow-ups does sound like a lot, but maybe there were problems, or it was not a simple break and needed screws or other hardware.

The co-pay amount is determined by what's negotiated between your employer and Kaiser. I had Kaiser before they started co-pays, and when you've got an all-you-can-eat situation (be seen as much as you want for a flat monthly fee), there are people who come in every week for the smallest things imaginable. Co-pays were a means to cut down on over-utilization.

Office waits at Kaiser can be good or awful. I've had pretty bad wait times at private physicians' offices, too. Walk-ins are not as bad as hospital ERs. Consider the fact you show up with no appointment, and are waiting alongside people who have appointments, and others who don't.

I once went to Alexandria Hospital with a broken arm and waited hours before even being assessed.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:54 AM
10,596 posts, read 12,090,790 times
Reputation: 6458
Originally Posted by robbobobbo View Post
6 follow-ups does sound like a lot, but maybe there were problems, or it was not a simple break and needed screws or other hardware.

In my co-worker's case, it was a bit more than a simple break so there were quite a few visits. Her gripe was that she should have paid a copay for the emergency visit, and a copay to the ortho who handled the arm. The second copay should have "covered" the entire arm break and she felt she should not have had to pay it each time she went in to him for a follow up of the arm break. I think because it was a specialist at that point, within Kaiser, her copay was higher than the standard. This was a few years ago, so I cannot remember the details, I just remember being surprised that she had to pay all that. I also was under the impression that you paid your premiums to Kaiser and that was it. I guess they have changed.

I haven't heard "horror" stories about Kaiser but, for me, I don't think it would be a good fit because of my health issues and *my* need to be able to control who I see to treat that.

When my daughter was in elementary school, one of her friend's mothers was a nurse practictioner at Kaiser. She was perfectly happy working for them, had a good education herself, and was not foreign. She could have worked anywhere but chose to work there.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:54 AM
845 posts, read 2,067,598 times
Reputation: 296
My co-pay was only 10. It is necessary to change the cast on kids every few weeks since they are still growing.

The office visits are 5-10 minutes at any facility in the US. They are all like factories. Of course, they are stingy with pain meds; they are under the gun from the Feds not to overprescribe them. The problems with Oxycotin have been horrible.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:00 AM
172 posts, read 479,778 times
Reputation: 52
Default never again

I had Kaiser years ago & went through terrible ordeal w/them. No way will I EVER go w/Kaiser again. IMO, their doctors most likely rank near the bottom of their class, based on the "care" I received during my experience w/them. The WalMart of healthcare, in my opinion.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:03 AM
Location: DC
3,286 posts, read 10,568,510 times
Reputation: 1301
I had Kaiser for a year, but honestly don't think I used it once. I tried to line up a primary care doctor but they were either not accepting new patients or were located out in Falls Church and would have required me to take more time off from work. After a few tries I gave up and signed up for BCBS during the next open season (it cost about the same, so the price wasn't an issue).

Granted, I was lazy about it and didn't get hurt/sick (aside from the flu, but by the time I was lucid enough to drive it would have been pointless to go to the doctor anyway), but I didn't like the limited options.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:06 AM
6,226 posts, read 6,823,776 times
Reputation: 3098
Stay with your Bc/Bs PPO. Several people on this thread seem content in paying a premium with very little care provided because its an HMO, or they're healthy and don't need it anyway. If you get sick you may find yourself in big trouble similar what my wife went through. It is well worth paying the extra $100 in monthly premiums for BC/BS PPO for yourself and your family than having any kind of HMO scheme or racket, because that is what it is, a racket.
I wish I had the choice you have.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:07 AM
7,913 posts, read 7,242,975 times
Reputation: 6263
I've waited 7 hours last year for an elderly relative who had a concussion and bleeding from a fall. It seems to be usually around 3 or 4 hours at the local emergency rooms and 2 hours at the urgent care facilities. I have three generations of relatives to take on medical emergencies and periodic follow-ups. As a result, I have several trips to medical offices or facilities each month.

The most common complaints with Kaiser has been the waiting period to get appointments to see a primary physician. Some states are proposing regulations to force them to meet reasonable performance of 10 days to get to see a doctor for a non-urgent situation. As I said, we don't have Kaiser and we've seen waits of 3 weeks to several months to see a specialist or OBGYN. I can usually see the GP the next day or within a few days.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:49 AM
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,752,211 times
Reputation: 316
Thank you for your thoughts. We are probably going to try it for a year, then just switch back to BC/BS during open enrollment the following year if we hate it. We have not been impressed with BC/BS at all, so we don't really think Kaiser can do worse. But I guess we'll find out!
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