Kaiser Permanente health insurance review and ratings 2024

Kaiser Permanente, a top performer in a number of areas in our health insurance customer survey, including policy offerings and trustworthiness, is No. 1 on Insure.com’s Best Health Insurance Companies list – earning 4.2 stars out of 5.

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Our take

If you’re looking for a health insurer that provides great customer satisfaction and is easy to work with, then look no further than Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente ranked No. 1 overall in Insure.com’s 2024 list of the Best Health Insurance Companies for 2024 with a star rating of 4.2 (or, more precisely, 4.17) out of 5 stars.

Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, was a top performer in a number of areas in our health insurance customer survey, including policy offerings and trustworthiness. The company also received the highest National Committee for Quality Assurance ranking – 4.3 out of 5 stars – of the top companies in our ranking. NCQA evaluates healthcare plans on, among other things, member satisfaction. 

In addition to its high customer satisfaction and other rankings, Kaiser Permanente received the highest score among the top insurers for affordability.  

Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente Ratings
Overall Rating: 4.2
Price/Affordability: 4.3
NCQA: 4.25
Customer Satisfaction: 4.5
AM Best Rating: NR

Pros and Cons

  • Top grades for customer satisfaction
  • High customer loyalty with the top score for trustworthiness
  • Strong portfolio and range of policy offerings
  • Not available in all states
  • Doesn’t rate as high as some competitors for low deductibles

Below is Insure.com’s review of the company. It’s based on third-party metrics and our in-depth survey of insurance customers. Find the full methodology here, including an explanation of our survey scores.

How much does Kaiser Permanente insurance cost?

In addition to being highly satisfied with the service and offerings provided by Kaiser Permanente, customers like its pricing. Among the top health insurance providers, it ranked highest for price and affordability, receiving 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Insurance companyPrice/affordability stars 
Kaiser Permanente4.34

But Kaiser doesn’t always have the lowest rates. Below is a look at how Kaiser Permanente’s rates in California compare with Centene and Blue Shield of California. These are 2024 healthcare exchange rates for a single, 40-year-old male in excellent health with an annual income of $70,000.

Insurance companyRate/MonthPlan
Kaiser Permanente$498Silver 70 HMO
Blue Shield of California$434Silver 70 Trio HMO
Centene$454Silver 70 Ambetter  HMO

How Kaiser Permanente scores for customer satisfaction

Kaiser Permanente knows how to make its customers happy. Of the companies we looked at, the insurer has the best score for customer satisfaction. It also rated well against other insurers in an average of J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study scores for California. J.D. Power measures health plans for overall customer satisfaction.

Insurance companyCustomer satisfaction starsJ.D. Power overall satisfaction score (out of 1,000)
Kaiser Permanente4.45749
Blue Shield of California3.80722

How Kaiser Permanente scores for policy offerings

Our survey found that 86% of respondents are happy with the policy offerings from Kaiser Permanente. Only Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was able to beat Kaiser Permanente in this category.

Insurance companyPercent of customers who score their insurance company highly for policy offerings
Kaiser Permanente86%
BCBS of Michigan88%
Blue Shield of California69%

Would customers recommend Kaiser Permanente to others?

An overwhelming majority of Kaiser Permanente customers would recommend it to others. However, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and a handful of other companies did better in this category. 

Insurance companyPercent of customers who would recommend their health insurance company to others
Kaiser Permanente95%
BCBS of Michigan100%
Blue Shield of California94%

How trustworthy is Kaiser Permanente?

Kaiser Permanente has earned the trust of its customers, with 86% of respondents finding it trustworthy. That was the highest ranking of any health insurer in our survey.

Insurance companyPercent of customers who say they trust their health insurance company
Kaiser Permanente86%
Blue Shield of California74%

Do current Kaiser Permanente customers plan to renew?

High customer satisfaction also translates into strong loyalty, with 95% of Kaiser Permanente customers saying they plan to renew their insurance. Kaiser Permanente finished behind just three other companies in the category, including Highmark and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which tied for first. 

Insurance companyPercent of customers who plan to renew with their health insurance company
Kaiser Permanente95%
BCBS of Michigan98%

How Kaiser Permanente scores for digital experience

Kaiser Permanente, which has been offering telehealth since before the Covid-19 pandemic, had the highest score of the companies we ranked in this category. But it should be noted that none of the bigger insurers did particularly well here.

Insurance company Percent of customers who highly rank the company’s digital experience
Kaiser Permanente 32%
Cigna 26%
Aetna 25%

How Kaiser Permanente scores for low deductibles

While Kaiser Permanente customers say it excels in customer service and its offerings, they didn’t rate it highly for having low deductibles. Aetna, Cigna and HCSC tied for first in this category.

Insurance company Percent of customers who highly rank the company for low deductibles
Kaiser Permanente 25%
Aetna, Cigna, HCSC 31%
Florida Blue 30%

How Kaiser Permanente scores for its provider network

A healthcare provider network is a group of doctors, specialists and hospitals that provide services to insured members at a lower cost than providers outside the network. A strong provider network can be a key consideration when shopping for a health plan. Kaiser Permanente didn’t rate has high in this category as some of its top competitors, but then none of the companies in our ranking did especially well here. Molina led this category.

Insurance company Percent of customers who highly rank the company’s provider network
Kaiser Permanente 14%
Molina 31%
Elevance 25%

Kaiser Permanente health insurance coverage options

  • Insurance for individuals and families
  • Health insurance through employers
  • Medicare, Medicaid and Medi-Cal plans
  • Travel plans

Other Kaiser Permanente services 

  • Dental 
  • Vision
  • Health classes
  • Charitable Health Coverage

States where Kaiser Permanente offers coverage

States where Kaiser Permanente offers coverage
Washington D.C.
Not available

Company background

Kaiser Permanente

In 1945, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser partnered with founding physician Sidney R. Garfield, MD, to open a system of prepaid care to the public in Northern California. Unions viewed the plan as labor-friendly and affordable and formed a large membership base in the formative years.

In 1950, Kaiser started the Kaiser Foundation School of Nursing to help fill a nursing shortage following World War II and in 1956 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. was established as an independent nonprofit California corporation.

Kaiser established the Kaiser Foundation Harbor Hospital in 1957, the first hospital in the country built for members of an employer-sponsored health care plan. It initially provided care to International Longshore and Warehouse Union employees and their families.

In 1976, as healthcare was changing, Kaiser Permanente’s demonstrated affordability was specifically acknowledged as they were recognized as the best health plan model for the groundbreaking Health Maintenance Organization Act, signed into law in December 1973. Kaiser had turned all of their health plans into qualified HMOs by 1976.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Kaiser dramatically increased its telehealth system. Virtual care visits rose from about 15% of all visits to about 80%, including more than 30,000 a day via video.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans, serving 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Kaiser Permanente operates 40 hospitals, 618 medical offices and has almost 24,000 physicians and more than 68,000 nurses. The company had annual operating revenue of $100.8 billion at the end of 2023.

Resources and Methodology


Kaiser Permanente Accessed January 2024.


Insure.com in the fall of 2023 surveyed more than 1,750 insurance consumers (1,433 people with health insurance). The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR. 

Respondents were asked to name their insurer and then grade it in a number of categories, including ease of service and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.

In addition, the editors also created star rankings for each company. Respondents were asked to pick their insurer’s top three attributes out of the more than the dozen they were presented – including categories such as customer satisfaction and price/affordability. The number of responses for each of those attributes was totaled and then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create the star ranking.

Respondents were also asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else and if they planned to renew their policies. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.

They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.

The editors compiled the survey results and then selected – based on the number of survey responses – the top companies for further evaluation. Insure.com needed 30 or more of a health insurer’s customers to respond to the survey for a company to be included in the ranking.

They then collected AM Best financial stability ratings and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ratings, which evaluate health plans on, among other things, member satisfaction.

With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For health insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company: 

  • Survey – 60% of total score (10% for customer satisfaction, 10% trustworthiness, 10% for recommending the carrier to another, 10% if a respondent would renew with their current insurer, and 20% if they consider their insurer the best for affordability)
  • AM Best – 25% of total score
  • NCQA – 15% of total score

Each insurer was awarded from 1 to 5 stars. No insurer in our star ranking received less than 1 star and the highest possible ranking is 5 stars.

On company review pages, the editors compared the profiled insurers in various categories against the leaders in that category or against other top insurers that match up well against the profiled company in terms of size and/or coverage area.

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Mel Duvall
Contributing Researcher


Mel Duvall is an award-winning senior business writer and communications professional. Mel also served a three-year term on the Mount Royal University Journalism Committee.

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