Humana vs. Kaiser Permanente

In this article...
  • Humana and Kaiser Permanente both offer Medicare plans in parts of the country. Comparing Humana vs. Kaiser may not be apples to apples, but our Medicare plan review can help you find the best carrier for your needs.

Comparing Humana vs. Kaiser Permanente may be considered by some to be an unfair fight. But when you consider the fact that Humana is one of the largest health insurance carriers in the U.S. while Kaiser is a small and narrowly focused health care organization, you can begin to weigh the advantages and drawbacks of the Medicare plans offered by each company.

Humana is one of the most popular insurance companies in the country. Nearly 1 out of every 5 Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan beneficiaries is enrolled in a Humana Medicare Advantage plan.

7% of all Medicare Advantage plan beneficiaries are members of a Kaiser Permanente Medicare plan. Many Medicare customers appreciate their coverage from Kaiser Permanente. In fact, J.D. Power ranked Kaiser Permanente as having the highest level of customer satisfaction in five of the regions the company serves. 

Humana vs. Kaiser Permanente
  Pros Cons
Humana

Diversity of plans that are widely available across the country

Large network of doctors and pharmacies

High plan quality

 

$0 premium plans aren't available in all locations 

Kaiser Permanente

High quality Medicare plans

Simple and streamlined business model that offers health plans and health care facilities

Only serves a limited part of the country

Only offers one type of Medicare insurance

Humana vs. Kaiser Permanente: Types of Insurance Plans Offered

Humana sells a wide variety of insurance plans, including Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Humana also offers group insurance plans, standalone dental insurance plans, vision plans and more.

Kaiser Permanente offers Medicare Advantage plans but does not sell Medicare Part D plans or Medigap plans in any parts of the country.

Areas Served

Humana Medicare plans can be found in parts of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Humana Medicare Advantage plans are sold in 90% of U.S. counties.

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage plans are sold in just eight states (CA, CO, GA, HI, MD, OR, VA and WA) and the District of Columbia.

Provider Access

As one of the nation’s largest health insurance carriers, you’ll typically have little trouble finding a health care provider who accepts Humana. Doctor.com reports more than 638,000 providers accept Humana insurance, including more than 74,000 family doctors.

Kaiser is a much smaller company with a unique business model. To use a Kaiser Medicare Advantage plan, you must visit a Kaiser-branded hospital or medical facility. Kaiser reports there are 39 such hospitals and nearly 700 medical office buildings within the states served by the company.

Financial Ratings

Humana maintains steady financial ratings from the leading credit agencies including Standard & Poor’s (BBB+), Moody’s (Baa3), Fitch Ratings (BBB) and A.M. Best (bbb-). The company also holds an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Kaiser Permanente financial ratings are even stronger, with an “AA-” from Fitch Ratings and an “A+” from Standard & Poor’s, to go along with an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Medicare Star Ratings

Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Stars are used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to indicate various measures of plan quality, with five stars being the highest score.

For 2021, 92% of Humana Medicare Advantage plan members will be enrolled in a plan rated four stars or higher.1

Kaiser is known for the quality of its plans, and that reputation is reflected in the five-star rating for Medicare Advantage plans in seven of the eight states where the company sells plans and a 4.5-star rating in Washington state.

Customer Experience

Humana members may perform a variety of tasks online. Beneficiaries can find providers or pay premiums online, and they can download the MyHumana app to manage benefits even more closely. Customers and Medicare plan shoppers can call the Humana phone number to speak with representatives directly, and the company even answers basic questions on Twitter seven days a week.

Kaiser Medicare plan holders can have an similarly easy time managing their benefits online or through a mobile app that earns high ratings in both the Apple and Google Play app stores. Kaiser customer support is also available via phone, email and live chat.

Kaiser Permanente vs. Humana: The Verdict

Humana may be quite a bit larger than Kaiser, but that’s not to say it’s necessarily better. Each company has its respective perks, and the one that’s best for you will come down to your personal preferences and the type of plan that best suits your health care and budget needs.

Speak to a licensed insurance agent for more help determining which carrier might be best for you. 

  1. https://press.humana.com/news/news-details/2020/Humanas-Medicare-Advantage-Members-are-in-4-Star-and-Above-Contracts-for-2021-Reflecting-Ongoing-Commitment-to-Quality-Care-and-Improved-Health-Outcomes/default.aspx#gsc.tab=0.

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