Graduate Medical Education

Become a Kaiser Permanente Member

Interested in Kaiser Permanente or know someone who might be? Here are some basic questions and answers you may find helpful.

1. Who can sign up for Kaiser Permanente?

Kaiser Permanente offers a range of health plans in eight states and the District of Columbia for:

  • Individuals and families, including those on Medicare and Medicaid
  • Businesses and employers
  • Other organizations

Our guide at  will help potential members find the plan that meets their needs.

2. How do people sign up for Kaiser Permanente?

Individuals and families who want more information or would like to become Kaiser Permanente members can:

  • Go online to 
  • Call our helpful service representatives at 1-866-329-3468 (toll free)
  • Visit “ShopKP” stores, retail kiosks, mobile sales vehicles, or Customer Care Centers inside medical offices available in some of our regions

Anyone Medicare-eligible who wants more information or would like to become a Kaiser Permanente member can go online to

Anyone covered through an employer can contact the employer’s HR department to see if Kaiser Permanente is offered as a choice. And he or she can encourage the employer to offer Kaiser Permanente if they don’t.

3. Why should someone choose Kaiser Permanente?

Easier health care: By providing our members with both care and coverage in one place, we make staying healthy and informed so much easier. See how easy.

Healthier outcomes: At Kaiser Permanente we aim to keep our members healthy. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for nearly 70 years. We’re continually advancing medicine that lets us provide better care so members can live a longer, healthier life. More about healthier outcomes.

Doctor choice: Members can choose from many of Kaiser Permanente’s skilled doctors based on what’s important to them. And they can switch doctors at any time. Browse doctor bios.

Care near our members: We have medical facilities close to where our members work and live. Joining Kaiser Permanente means that a member’s doctor, specialist, pharmacist and more are often located in one facility so our members don’t have to spend the day going all over town to get well. If a member is traveling and has an emergency, they’re still covered — even if there’s no Kaiser Permanente facility where they are. See how KP is bringing care to our members.

4. What coverage can people get from Kaiser Permanente?

Kaiser Permanente administers many individual and family plans, Medicare health plans, employer-sponsored plans and small business plans to fit almost any need. Medicaid-eligible individuals also may choose to receive their care from Kaiser Permanente if they meet certain requirements.

Our Traditional HMO plan offers a comprehensive package of health care benefits that covers members not only when they are sick or injured, but also includes preventive care, emphasizing early detection and timely treatment of disease. Members have easy access to health screenings and extensive opportunities to learn healthy behaviors through health education classes and online tools.

Our Deductible HMO pairs deductibles and coinsurance  with Kaiser Permanente’s Traditional HMO to offer plans that fill the need for more health plan options with a lower monthly premium.

Our Medicare health plans offer high-quality care to individuals and group members who are disabled or 65 years and older. Watch the Kaiser Permanente Guide to Medicare Basics  and visit our award-winning Medicare website to learn more.

These are our three most popular products. Our guide at  will help direct potential members to the plan that meets their needs.

5. When can someone sign up for Kaiser Permanente?

Individual and Family coverage can be purchased during fall open enrollment, or during a special enrollment period if someone has a life-changing circumstance such as changing jobs, marriage, birth of a child and more.

Medicare health plan enrollment is available to eligible individuals or group retirees when they first become eligible or during other valid election periods such as the October 15 through December 7 Annual Election Period or the December 8 through November 30 Five-Star Special Enrollment Period for regions who earn the highest rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Employer/Group coverage open enrollment periods each year vary by employer/group, but typically occur in the fall.

If someone has a major life change (birth, job change, marriage, newly eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, etc.), he or she may be able to enroll in Kaiser Permanente coverage at other times during the year.

6. Where does someone go who just wants to learn more about Kaiser Permanente?

Please visit our website at  or en Espanol.

Social Media @ Kaiser Permanente

Below is a listing of Kaiser Permanente’s main social media channels. Others will be added as they become available. Please note that social media conversations do not constitute medical advice, and for any specific care questions, consult with your physician.


Kaiser Permanente Thrive
Kaiser Permanente Viva Bien
Kaiser Permanente Powered By Health


@kpshare News and perspectives from Kaiser Permanente
@kpthrive Health and wellness tips from Kaiser Permanente
@kpvivabien Salud y bienestar consejos de Kaiser Permanente
@kpmemberservice Please do not share protected health information. Tweets are not medical advice.
@kpcareers Information about career opportunities at Kaiser Permanente
@kphistory Sharing Kaiser Permanente’s heritage and its applications today
@kptotalhealth Starting and sharing conversations about health
@kpcommhealth Caring for the communities Kaiser Permanente serves
@kpdigitalhealth Tweets about how technology is enabling and improving health care delivery
@kppbh Kaiser Permanente’s Powered By Health is your inspiration towards a healthier lifestyle.

Twitter around the nation


Other social websites

Instagram Kaiser Permanente Thrive
Instagram Kaiser Permanente Viva Bien
Blogs Click “Blogs” at the top right of any Share page.


Feedback Form

We value your feedback and use it to improve our services. Your comments about the Kaiser Permanente 2017 Annual Report are always welcome.

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Total Health Radio

Welcome to Total Health Radio. Real talk with clinicians, experts and everyday people on the health topics that matter most to you and your family.

Meet the show’s hosts | Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud | Questions? Contact us at

Listen to the most recent podcast!

About Kaiser Permanente

physician using otoscope to examine a baby's ear

Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.

Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our world-class medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, care delivery and chronic disease management.


Kaiser Permanente exists to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.


We are trusted partners in total health, collaborating with people to help them thrive and creating communities that are among the healthiest in the nation.

2017 fast facts infographic

Fast Facts About Kaiser Permanente
Find top-level statistics and information about Kaiser Permanente


An older physician crouched down to talk to boy surrounded by boy's family
Clinical Quality
We strive to achieve clinical excellence by giving our patients the best possible care and service from top doctors.
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Our Accolades
When Kaiser Permanente is recognized for its hospitals, initiatives or care plans, we appreciate that it’s our members who win.
Older African American man siting in exam room talking with his hands to an African American woman physician
Health Research
Our researchers are committed to making progress in the prevention of illness, early detection of disease and better treatment of ongoing conditions.
Kid smiling in classroom
Community Health
We strive to improve the total health of our members and the communities we serve.
Bernard J. Tyson video interview by Fortune Magazine, Juy 2014
About Our CEO
Read the latest news and commentary about Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals.
Kaiser Permanente logo
Leadership Team
Our leadership team is composed of executives who are committed to making strides in total health for our members.
The Labor Management Partnership logo above a picture from their website of team of doctors and nurses, etc. in a huddle, high-fiving in the center
Labor Management Partnership
Our employees, managers and physicians jointly determine how care is delivered and work is done in hundreds of Kaiser Permanente facilities.
Black and white photo of Henry J. Kaiser meeting with Sidney Garfield, MD, looking at a hospital model and drawings of future hospitals
Our History
Kaiser Permanente evolved from industrial health care programs prior to WWII, opening to public enrollment in July 1945.



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Contact Us // Media Contacts

We value your feedback and use it to improve our services. Your comments, suggestions and questions about Kaiser Permanente Share are always welcome.

Note: Please be aware that the Kaiser Permanente Share email should not be used for on-deadline inquiries; instead, please call our National Media Hotline, 510-271-5953.

National Offices | Follow on Twitter!

Media Hotline
National Media Relations

Colorado | Follow on Twitter!

Amy Whited 303-344-7518
303-746-1632 (cell)
Nick Roper 303-344-7619
303-905-7451 (cell)

Georgia | Follow on Twitter!

Cheryl Brown 404-364-7031
Gustavo Machado 404-364-4779

Hawaii | Follow on Twitter!

Laura Lott 808-432-5916

Mid-Atlantic States | Follow on Twitter!

Scott Lusk 202-288-3233
Shana Selender 202-215-4821

Northern California | Follow on Twitter!

Northern California Media Hotline 510-987-3900
Jessie Mangaliman 510-987-4672
Jenny Mack 510-987-3291

Northwest | Follow on Twitter!

Northwest Media Hotline 503-813-3967
Mike Foley 503-867-5621
Debbie Karman 503-798-1223

Southern California | Follow on Twitter!

Southern California Media Hotline 626-405-5534
Elita Fielder 626-405-3004
Sandra D Hernandez-Millett 626-405-5384
Mayra Suarez 626-405-2652


Peter Hart 206-448-2728
Sally Mildren 206-630-4047

Note: We cannot answer medical questions. If you have a question about your health or medicines, please visit


Research: It’s In Our Roots

Health research has been a focus of our clinicians and staff since the early 1940s. At the dedication of the Permanente Foundation Hospital in Oakland, Calif. in August 1942, Henry J. Kaiser said of the Health Plan that one of its key purposes was “…to provide funds for research.” And that’s still true today.

At our seven regional research centers and one national research center, more than 1,200 staff are working on epidemiological and health services studies that had funding of $192.6 million in 2012. In addition, our physicians and researchers conduct clinical trials of new drugs, medical devices and other therapies both through several organized clinical trial centers and independently.

Approximately 2,000 studies involving Kaiser Permanente clinicians and researchers are in progress at any given time. Our research centers and scientists comprise one of the largest nonacademic research programs in the United States.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research was created in 2009. Through investments in infrastructure and specific projects, the center takes advantage of Kaiser Permanente’s talented research teams, rich data assets, and integrated delivery system to contribute to the knowledge base in comparative effectiveness and safety.

The following research centers and partners conduct research on many different subjects, including:

  • the study and control of diseases,
  • the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of major chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance abuse), and
  • safety health care interventions (such as vaccines and medications).

Center for Health Research (Oregon, Hawaii and Georgia)

Department of Research and Evaluation (Pasadena, Calif.)

Division of Research (Oakland, Calif.)

Institute for Health Research (Denver)

Mid-Atlantic Permanente Research Institute (Rockville, Md.)

While our health research guides our clinicians’ practice patterns and further enhances the medical care of our members, it also contributes to the wealth of medical knowledge worldwide.

See All Health Research News

Total Health

We stand for total health. It’s the philosophy we live and breathe in our service, our buildings, and our care delivery. Total Health is a powerful idea, built with equal parts integration, prevention and empowerment.

These core values are at the heart of everything we do as we work to make lives better.

Mental Health and Wellness

Kaiser Permanente is working to become the leader in providing mental health care for our members and patients, and ultimately provide a model for the delivery of mental health care in the community. We aim to define the vision of 21st century mental health care with a high-quality community of providers, emerging technologies that make it easy and convenient for members to connect, and evidence-based care with outcomes measured so we know it is working, and that patients are being helped.

We are proud that the mental health care we provide is among the highest rated not only in California, but in the country as a whole. Multiple independent rating bodies — from government agencies, to the nation’s premier care quality organizations, to employer groups that purchase care and coverage for their employees — have surveyed our care and found Kaiser Permanente to provide among the highest quality care available.

Even with these high marks, we are neither content with where we are, nor where mental health care is in America as a whole. We believe strongly that more can and must be done. So, we are working hard to continue improving quality and access to care, while also working to fundamentally advance the ways in which mental health care is provided — and measured — for patients in the future.

Improving Mental Health Care Now and in the Future

Kaiser Permanente is inviting people across the country to help reduce the stigma around depression and engage in a conversation that the nation needs in order to better understand and address mental and behavioral health issues. Visit to learn more.

Independent Reviews Affirm Top-Rated Mental Health Care
Kaiser Permanente’s Northern and Southern California ratings for behavioral and mental health care are among the highest in the state, according to the California Office of the Patient Advocate’s 2015-2016 report card. Kaiser Permanente Northern California also scored three stars — higher than any other HMO in the state — in the “Getting Care Easily” category.

Improving Access to Mental Health Care
As an integrated, non-profit health care system and the largest mental health care provider in California, Kaiser Permanente is well-positioned to meet the needs of the growing population of Americans in need of mental health care. More »

Additional Resources

With the number of Americans seeking mental health care, also known as behavioral health care, steadily rising, our nation is at risk of not having enough clinicians to meet patients’ needs. Kaiser Permanente is making sure our patients have access to the mental health care they need, when and where they need it.

Based on a comprehensive assessment in California, we are working to make changes, including:

  • offering more individual appointments
  • expanding hours and days of operation
  • making it easier for patients to self-select or change therapists
  • improving the physical environment in which members receive services
  • focusing on assessing patient’s progress and rate of improvement at every visit
  • centralizing our recruiting strategy to enable more rapid hiring process

Today, we can measure cardiac care or cancer care results. We can tell whether a patient improved, the quality of the care provided and a host of other concrete outcomes. But that level of measurable outcome is not yet possible for mental health treatment. Kaiser Permanente is working to change this. When we can measure with some precision mental health care outcomes, we can determine the best care with greater accuracy, not just at Kaiser Permanente but at care providers across the country. Developing better ways to measure performance is a critical need, and one of our top priorities.

We have convened a multidisciplinary group of leaders to envision and develop an integrated mental health model that brings together the best available clinical evidence and takes advantage of all supportive resources available to patients. We are also participating in a 12-month Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Collaborative to Optimize Primary Care Teams to Meet Patients’ Medical and Behavioral Needs. This initiative is designed by IHI to create the next generation of high performing primary care teams to address patients’ medical and mental health conditions and treat the whole person.

We are also working to partner with and learn from patient advocacy groups, and from our patients themselves, to listen to their experiences, and put that to use in designing better care in the future.

Health Equity

Toward Health Equity for All

The health of our communities is not only a matter of social justice, but something that affects literally every person’s health and quality of life. And yet, today, the health of racial and ethnic minorities and disadvantaged populations is often worse than the health of the overall population. Kaiser Permanente believes that this is one of the most important issues facing the United States, and the world.

We believe that health is essential to economic and social development. We know that health care must become more affordable. And yet we also know that the increasing cost of health care consumes resources needed for essential needs such as housing, education, and economic development. If these social determinants of health are imperiled, our society is imperiled.

We use our financial, technical, and clinical knowledge and resources to help our members, and the communities we serve, realize their aspirations for total health. We seek to form and participate in partnerships with like-minded organizations to support those aspirations. Seeking health equity in every possible venue — homes, schools, workplaces, and wherever people gather — is part of our mission.

Products and Benefits

Products and Benefits

Innovation and excellence in products and member benefits define Kaiser Permanente. From its humble beginnings in the 1930s in the California desert, the promise of prepaid health care benefits grew to serve those that built the Grand Coulee Dam, and built the ships that won World War II. Offered to the public in 1945, we now serve members in eight states and the District of Columbia.

Today, our health care systems are the model for the nation: Our Medicare plans are among the highest-rated in the industry, our Pharmacy services are among the safest, our hospitals receive consistently high rankings in quality, care and safety, and our services give our members the highest levels of satisfaction in the health care industry.

Evolving to meet the needs of a changing and challenging marketplace, Kaiser Permanente is a leader in plan design, tailored to the needs of health care seekers and purchasers large and small.

See all Products and Benefits news »

Environmental Stewardship

A Healthy Environment for Healthy People

We are working to improve the environment and to make the link between the health of our members, our communities and our planet.

Our environmental roots can be traced to the beginning of the modern environmental movement. In 1963, the author and environmental crusader Rachel Carson spoke to Permanente doctors at San Francisco Medical Center in one of her last speeches. Carson, author of the book “Silent Spring,” warned about the dangers of certain chemicals to human health and to the environment. We were concerned about the environment then, and we’re concerned now. Decades later, we are working aggressively to curb our overall impact on the environment by building greener hospitals, sourcing sustainable food and medical supplies, reducing waste and looking at new ways to use less water and energy.

We have a far more sustainable operation today than ever before and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We share our experiences and practices with others to improve environmental performance of the entire health care sector. We also work to increase public awareness and promote public dialogue that recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship on the health of communities.

Striving to make our communities healthier requires a commitment to environmental health. Kaiser Permanente supports efforts to reduce pollutants, ensure safe areas for children to play and provide access to local produce through grants and partnerships with local organizations and programs.

Environmental stewardship doesn’t have to cost more; rather, it supports our commitment to providing affordable health care. We aim to share these experiences and practices with others to raise the bar of environmental performance and ultimately, to benefit the health of our communities and the environment.

Learn more about our environmental stewardship work in the community »

See all Environmental Stewardship news »

Operational Excellence

Coordinated, Convenient Care for Healthier Outcomes

We have always believed that the best way to deliver high-quality, affordable care is to integrate into one system these three components: multispecialty physician groups, fully equipped medical facilities and a nonprofit health plan. Our integration doesn’t stop with how we’re structured, though. It flows into how we work together to create a coordinated experience for our members.

In addition to a personal physician, our health care professionals and support staff work together to meet each member’s needs. Through an advanced electronic health record system, our care teams have immediate access to patients’ medical information so members are assured their care is coordinated and current.

We provide many types of medical services at the same medical center, giving members one-stop service for routine care, laboratory tests, X-rays and pharmacy, plus timely access to specialty care, health education classes, optical services and other health care services.

We are committed to ethical conduct and integrity in our work, and we work hard to protect the privacy of our members, prevent fraud and use health care resources wisely to remain a leader in operational excellence.

See All Operational Excellence News

Community Health

Making Total Community Health a Reality

We are committed to improving the health of our communities. Our work is driven by our conviction that good health is a fundamental right shared by all and by our heritage of prevention and health promotion. To that end, we share our financial resources, research, physicians and clinical practices. But more importantly, we share ourselves. Kaiser Permanente employees generously give their time, talents and passions for the benefit of others.

Why? Because at Kaiser Permanente, we understand that good health extends beyond the doctor’s office and the hospital. It begins with healthy environments: fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhood stores, successful schools, clean air, accessible parks and safe playgrounds. These are the vital signs of healthy communities. Good health for the entire community requires equity and social and economic well-being.

We are committed to high-quality, affordable, integrated care. So we work closely with community health centers, public hospitals and health departments, supporting their efforts to provide care for the uninsured and underserved with infrastructure, training, grants and equipment. Our own programs also lower financial barriers, providing free and discounted care for the uninsured.

Delivering real benefits to the community also requires accountability. This means we not only share our resources, but also learn from our community partners, deliver on our promises, measure what we are doing, identify what is working and report regularly to the communities we serve.

Together, we can make healthy communities happen.

See all In the Community News »


Comprehensive Health Information at Your Fingertips

Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, our comprehensive electronic health record, is one of the largest private electronic health systems in the world. KP HealthConnect and our integrated model securely connect more than medical offices and hospitals, linking patients to their health care teams, their personal health information and the latest medical knowledge.

The system facilitates communication between our members and health professionals to help make getting well and staying healthy easy and convenient. It improves member safety and quality of care by providing access to comprehensive patient information and the latest best practice research in one place.

KP HealthConnect is an innovative tool that enables us to deliver high-quality, efficient care in new ways. The system supports our commitment to preventive medicine by giving clinicians access to the latest treatments to make sure members receive the right care at the right time. We’re already seeing advances in the way we prevent manageable diseases from becoming life-threatening crises — in one pilot study, we were able to reduce coronary artery disease deaths by 73 percent.

Our personal health record on is directly connected to KP HealthConnect, empowering members with 24/7 access to their health information and convenient health management tools to email their care providers, schedule appointments and refill prescriptions. Members can access their health record from anywhere in the world via the Kaiser Permanente mobile app for Android and Apple smartphones.

Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® Facts

• 5.8 million members registered on*
• 23.6 million secure emails sent*
• 45.4 million lab test results viewed online*
• 5.1 million online requests for appointments*
• 21.8 million prescriptions refilled online*

* Data as of 12/31/16

See All Electronic Health Records News

Health and Wellness

Living Well in Mind, Body and Spirit

We dedicate ourselves to helping members maximize their well-being and live happier, healthier lives. As a mission-driven organization, we practice what we believe and do the right thing for our members and patients.

Staying active can mean the difference between living a healthy, happy life and developing chronic health conditions. We share tips and inspiration to help our members get in shape and stay healthy — from ideas for fun activities that get the whole family moving to apps that help members start and track a fitness routine. We help our members arm themselves with the knowledge it takes to make healthier eating choices every day.

Regular physical activity, such as walking, improves balance, flexibility and posture — not to mention reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even some cancers.

All of our members can live healthy lives with the right motivation, and we’re here to help them get there. Our ongoing work to inspire and encourage healthy eating and active living is core to our philosophy of total health.

See All Health and Fitness News

Expert Medicine

Putting Clinical Excellence into Practice

As a mission-driven organization, we always have our end goal in mind: total health. We constantly strive to achieve every facet of clinical excellence, as high-quality care translates to improved total health for our members.

Our approach to health care? As leaders in preventive medicine, we promote wellness for our members. Our physicians practice compassion and respect along with medicine. They’re innovators, healers, educators and leaders. Creating individual bonds with those they care for, our physicians understand that each patient is a person with unique needs. Our team approach to total health combines highly qualified doctors with other skilled health care professionals. The team’s access to advanced research and innovative technology means our members can benefit from safe and informed care that’s right for them.

We are consistently recognized for clinical excellence and honored for being among the top in the nation. Expanding our care centers, innovating our treatment options, pushing the boundaries in technology — everything we do at the forefront of health care is to make lives better.

See All Clinical Excellence News