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Health Insurance California Kaiser Permanente Question & Answers

2016 March 19
by Sarah Fields

Linda asks…

Does Kaiser Permanente give quality health care?

Do you believe that Kaiser Permanente gives quality health care? Why or why not? If not what would you recommend. Please only answer if you have been with Kaiser before. Rate it out of a 10 also please. Thank you

Sarah Fields answers:

Kaiser Permanente is a huge HMO in California. It is one of the largest HMO in the country, and it does provide good medical care under current healthcare crisis.

With any HMO, there is a need of cost containment, so you will be faced with having to deal with paperwork for referral and document. However, with any medical organization, there is a minimum quality of care that has to be provided. In the HMO model, the better the quality, the better the efficiency, which will save the company money.

I would rank 7 out of 10. Most of the insurance company I would go for maybe 5.

Daniel asks…

What are your views on rights to transsexual medical treatments and surgical procedures?

My personal view on transsexual and transgender patients’ right to transitory medical and surgical procedures is a libertarian one.

Embracing libertarian principles, I believe that each individual holds responsibility over his/her person including the body, ought to have the right to make decisions and should not be limited by imposed restrictions. Therefore, transgender and transsexual individuals should be the ones to determine what they do with their body and should not be restricted by age limits, medical authorizations, psychological diagnostics, etc. I believe that, in the interest of individual freedom and responsibility, transgender people ought to be able to receive hormone treatment, sex reassignment surgery and any other transgender related procedures unrestrictedly as long as they assume complete responsibility for their actions and have money to finance their transition.

For example, suppose we have a young teenage boy who is sure that mentally he is really female and desires to be a girl. He wants to start hormone therapy as soon as possible but many restrictions impide his wishes as he becomes more and more frustrated that his body is masculizing at an increasing rate. By the time he has got around all the restrictions his body has already masculized significantly and this will most likely limit his passability as a female in the future. All this happened because a few groups of people assumed they knew what was best for him when in fact he was the one who knew what was best for his future.

I am of the opinion that people should be free to take responsibility for their own life and do any surgical procedure with their body without other people telling them what they can and can´t do. Therefore, I believe that one´s right to acquire female hormones or have sex reassignment surgery shouldn´t be restricted by medical policies or subjected to gender identity disorder diagnosis, etc. Of course, medical tests and guidelines should continue to exist, however the individual should have the final say and authority regardless of the outcome. In other words, people should be able to purchase hormones or change their physical sex whenever they want as long as they have the money to pay for such procedures.

This libertarian perspective is my take on the issue.

What is your take on the issue? Do you agree or disagree?
Clones, I congratulate you for giving me an answer with minimal insults and personal attacks this time.

And who is ‘my kind’ supposed to be anyway?

I maintain that libertarianism is highly practicle. Yes, employers have the choice to decide who they want to employ and not be restricted by an overbearing government. That´s the beauty of freedom. But the flipside of the coin is that trans-friendly companies can hire whoever they want too. They could even have a trans-only hiring policy if they wanted. So libertarianism need not prevent trans-people from getting employed.

Also, it seems you suffer from a typical case of liberal entitlement. People should be able to spend as much of their earned money as possible on their own projects and not be expected to have much of their money spent by the state in areas which don´t even concern them.

Diferences in wealth are not discrimination or bigotry, they are natural features of a competitive arena.
Lily R

My first point was that, as a person of libertarian ideals, I believe that any person, really transgender or not, has the right to make any modifications to their body they wish including sex reassignment surgery without any opossing intervention as long as they take the responsibility. I know that there are cases of mistakes and regrets, but liberty must be accompanied by self-responsibility.

As for your other point, since you are living in a socialist country where healthcare is nationalized and you have paid your taxes, it is only moral that you receive sex reassignment surgery covered by healthcare. But like I said to Clones, the beauty of low-taxed libertarianism is that you get to invest your money in things which are important to yourself and don´t have to let the government take so much of your money to be used as they desire in projects that don´t even concern you.

Sarah Fields answers:

Things were sounding good (too good!) until this part:

“as long as they assume complete responsibility for their actions and have money to finance their transition.”

That’s discrimination. Your statement on the whole sounds good, but bigotry wrapped in nice words is still bigotry. Do we make people with other birth conditions pay for their own treatment? Most countries that have national health care cover at least some portion of treatment. And even in the USA the federal government recognizes transsexualism as a medical condition and transition as medically appropriate and medically necessary and therefore tax deductible.


Years ago the American Medical Association called on the insurance industry to end their policy of excluding treatment for transsexual people.


To their credit some companies have been changing. Most notably Kaiser Permanente, the largest health insurer in California, now covers trans health in all it’s plans.

I could go on, but suffice to say that you and your kind are losing this battle. I can already tell you what the next big barrier is that will fall: Open military service for transsexual people; that battle has already been engaged. In fact about a dozen countries allow such service.

You later said: “Therefore, I believe that one´s right to acquire female hormones or have sex reassignment surgery shouldn´t be restricted by medical policies or subjected to gender identity disorder diagnosis, etc.”

This section puzzles me. First, what about transsexual men? Do they not exist in your world? Next, the GID diagnosis has been dropped, it no longer exists; you’ve already missed the boat on that one. Last, nobody gets any medical care without following some kind of medical guidelines. For example, when people come to the emergency room for a heart attack, the staff usually follow that facilities chest pain protocol. That’s how medicine works. It would be total chaos if we let anyone get whatever medical treatment they want. And that’s my main beef with libertarianism in a nut shell. In theory it sounds nice, but in the real world it’s impractical.

Edit: Here’s another downside to libertarianism. You say we should be able to get whatever treatment we want if we can pay for it. Well that same libertarianism allows employers to discriminate against us. They won’t hire us or they fire us and thus we can’t fund our own transitions. As I said it sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t work in the real world.

Charles asks…

What is the best health insrunce for a 70 year old ?

its for my grandma & grandpa

Sarah Fields answers:

I will assume your Grandma & Grandpa, are american citizens and are eligible for Medicare Parts “A & B”. If they do they have three choices. 1. (most popular) Assign a HMO, example Secure Horizons, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente- advantages low or little cost per month, low copayments for services, you might ask why do the Health Insurance offer these plans at little or no cost? Because they receive your allocated monies once you assign to them, example lets say I am 65 and I pick an HMO that company now receive literally hundreds of dollars each month. Disvantages, 1 year lock in, limited Dr. Choices. 2. Medicare Supplemental plans- these are as the name implies- they suplement what medicare does not pay for, either a small portion or the whole amount. Advantage- not limited to one Dr., some plans allow you to see any physician who will accept Medicare (literally thousands). Disadvantages- expensive compared to the HMO, because you are paying for the supplemental. 3. Part “D” RX coverage, hopefully they have picked a plan, this is the newest from medicare that offers prescription plans, depending on their income you might be able to receive this for free. For others it will cost as little as 4.00 a month, and as much as 35.00 a month. In California if you have any questions regarding Medicare, and or your options, feel free to contact me directly.

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