WellCare vs. Kaiser Permanente Insurance

Which health insurance company is the best option for you and your family? Compare WellCare and Kaiser Permanente side by side.

Compare Health Insurance Rates in Your Area

WellCare vs. Kaiser Permanente: What You Need to Know

In 1985, Wellcare began as a Medicaid provider for the state of Florida, with operations in Tampa, Florida. After the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 was passed, WellCare began offering Medicare Part C, now called Medicare Advantage. In 2003, it offered Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage. In 2004, Wellcare went public. In November 2013, WellCare appointed Chairman David Gallitano to serve as interim CEO. He increased spending on technology and famously dorned the walls with photographs and portraits of health plan members, including people who suffer from chronic conditions like cancer, homelessness and hunger. In 2014, WellCare hired Kenneth Burdick as the new CEO and board member. He’d originally joined the company as the president of national health plans but was promoted first to president and COO and eventually CEO. In September 2017, Wellcare announced a rebrand with a focus on holistic health: “Beyond Healthcare: A Better You.” In October 2017, Wellcare announced the UNC Health Alliance primary care physicians and specialists into its Medicare Advantage network. Wellcare operates in 20 states and was recognized by Fortune Magazine as One of the World’s Most Admired Companies in January 2018. In January 2020, Wellcare was acquired by Centene Corporation.

After the war ended the shipyard workforce fell from 90,000 to 13,000. Only 12 of 75 medical group providers remained. On July 21, 1945, the Permanente Health Plan opened to the public to continue the health care delivery set up by Kaiser and Garfield. In 10 years, more than 300,000 people enrolled in Northern California with the support of two unions, the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union and the Retail Clerks Union.

In 1953, the name of the health plan and the hospitals was changed from Permanente to Kaiser Permanente. Even today, there are ties between the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals and the Permanente Medical Groups. 

To learn more about each company, you can check out the WellCare Overview and Kaiser Permanente Overview.

What is WellCare and Kaiser Permanente Insurance Rating?

Which health insurance company is better? We've made it easy to compare companies side by side. See how WellCare and Kaiser Permanente ranked among the industry ratings.

ComparisonWellCareKaiser Permanente
Year Founded19851945
Medicare Star Rating3.57 stars (out of 5)5 stars (out of 5)
BBB RatingA+A+
NAIC Complaint Index0.36% for group health

Pros & Cons of WellCare or Kaiser Permanente

Pros

WellCare
  • Affordable Medicare plans with many options for savings.
  • Offers PPO plans for Medicare Advantage, allowing for more freedom in choosing providers.
Kaiser Permanente
  • Affordable marketplace plans with different tiers of coverage.
  • Low complaint ratio for group health plans.

Cons

WellCare
  • The PPO plans are only available in select counties in New York, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina.
  • Medicare ratings have dropped over the past few years, possibly due to rapid expansion and acquisition.
Kaiser Permanente
  • Kaiser Permanente is only available in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

WellCare and Kaiser Permanente Mobile Apps Options

The MyWellCare app allows you to keep track of your benefits, look for providers, and use it as a digital ID Card.

The Kaiser Permanente app allows users to find doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, view claims, and pay your bill. They also offer an app called Humana Pharmacy which helps you to manage your prescriptions.

WellCare Mobile App
iOS     1.753 users
Android     2.3209 users
Kaiser Permanente Mobile App
iOS     3.12K users
Android     4.316,728 users

WellCare and Kaiser Permanente Enrollment Process

WellCare

You can get several free health insurance quotes with SmartFinancial. For Wellcare enrollment forms visit here.

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente offers plans through the health insurance marketplace. You can begin searching plans here or you can get several free health insurance quotes with SmartFinancial.

Each state has their own marketplace. If you’re not sure where to begin, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/. You can also schedule a personal appointment with a local Kaiser Permanente Medicare specialist: 1-866-973-4588.

How to File a Claim with WellCare and Kaiser Permanente Insurance

WellCare

Your doctor or care provider should submit a claim to the insurer. You should be covered except for copay. Your insurer will send you an explanation of benefits. If you owe anything, your doctor will send you a bill. If you visit an out-of-network provider, you will not be covered unless it was an emergency. Call 1-800-919-8807 with any additional questions.

Kaiser Permanente

To submit claims for reimbursement, contact member services at 1-888-901-4636. Otherwise, you should be covered except for copay. If you need reimbursement for Medicare Part D prescriptions, you must use the Member reimbursement drug claim form (PDF). For all other prescriptions (non-Medicare and Medicare without Part D) you must use this Prescription claim form (PDF).

Common Questions About Kaiser Permanente and WellCare Insurance

WellCare

What Medicare Plans Are Offered by WellCare?

Wellcare offers Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. They also offer Medicare Part D, Medicare Prescription Drug coverage.

Does WellCare have a mail-order pharmacy?

As a member, you may have your prescriptions filled by any network pharmacy. However, the amount you pay may be lower if you fill your prescription through CVS/Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy.

What is WellCare Value Script?

WellCare Value Script has a low premium and $0 copays for Tier 1 prescriptions when filled at a preferred cost-share pharmacy.

What is the deductible for WellCare?

The annual deductible for WellCare is $415.

Check out our full list of common questions about WellCare.

Kaiser Permanente

Does Kaiser Permanente have good reviews?

Kaiser Permanente has a better than average complaint ratio, especially for it’s group plans.

Who is eligible for Kaiser Permanente?

Individuals, families and people whose employers offer Kaiser Permanente are eligible for coverage. Kaiser also offers Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage, which is the alternative to Original Medicare.

What pharmacies accept Kaiser Permanent’s health insurance?

If your health plan benefits include a prepaid prescription drug plan, you must use a Kaiser pharmacy to obtain drugs at plan prices. You can fill your initial prescription at many MedImpact pharmacies, which include Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, Safeway and Costco, but you’ll need to order any refills through a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy or a mail order refill service through Kaiser.

Does Target Pharmacy accept Kaiser?

Target Pharmacy is now CVS, so yes, for an initial prescription you are covered. However, if your health plan benefits include a prepaid prescription drug plan, you must use a Kaiser pharmacy to obtain drugs at plan prices.

Check out our full list of common questions about Kaiser Permanente.

WellCare and Kaiser Permanente Insurance Contact Info

WellCare Contact Info
AddressP.O. Box 31370
Phone1 (800) 960-2530
Websitehttps://www.wellcare.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WellCareHealthPlans/
Youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpI5y9aJ895uevK-EAG67eA
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/PlansWellcare
Linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/wellcare/
Kaiser Permanente Contact Info
Address1 Kaiser Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone1 (510) 271-5910
Websitehttps://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kpthrive/
Youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqZdtT_o6xZbMkRbLZJ7Zvg
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/aboutKP
Linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/kaiser-permanente/

Compare Insurance Rates for Free.

Enter your zip code, answer a few questions, and compare rates in less than 3 minutes.