Medical Insurance Options at UC Berkeley

Parent Q&A

UC Open Enrollment coming soon. Which medical plan to pick? Oct 13, 2020 (6 responses below)
Which UC insurance for UCSF docs as well as East Bay? Sep 15, 2017 (5 responses below)
  • Hoping some other UC Employee or family member has done some research and given careful thought regarding the upcoming open enrollment.  It hasn't opened yet but I thought I'd get a jump on the research as I don't want to procrastinate and just go ahead with what I have next year.  What I have is the Healthnet Blue & Gold plan, Brown and Toland (formerly Alta Bates) Medical Group.  This plan is getting worse and worse.  Limited choice of primary care doctors for adults and terrible physical therapy options.  I'd ideally like to stay with Healthnet Blue and Gold as it is the right price.  So perhaps one of the other medical groups is somehow better?  Not Kaiser.  Been there done that.  Anyone really happy with their plan?  I'd like to know which ones and why.  Thanks.

    I have UC Care and have had this option for several years.  It is not cheap, esp for family coverage, but I have been very happy with the options available to us.  (I still have my Brown and Toland based internist and Ob-Gyn, and see both UC and Sutter based specialists.  I have a chronic condition which requires visits to a number of specialists every year, and my daughter has a condition that requires annual labs and imaging.)  

    Hi, there. We are a UC family who has had Healthnet Blue & Gold for quite a while. We previously had Brown & Toland Medical Group because that's who our Doctor and her practice belonged to. But when the practice was sold, she moved to a new group, and we followed her there. We adore Dr. Audrey D'Andrea; she is now with Canopy Health/John Muir Network; they are on San Pablo just south of Ashby. This is super convenient for us; we can walk there, there's a parking garage with validated parking. There's a lab in the building. There's an urgent care facility in the building. Fantastic! Overall much more convenient for us than the old location in Oakland. A few things are less convenient: I now to go to Orinda for my mammogram, instead of to the lovely facility in Oakland. When my husband needed hand surgery, he had to have it in San Francisco. But overall, we are very happy, and we would follow Dr. D'Andrea pretty much anywhere!


    I remember they used to also include Stanford Health Care, which is excellent; I went to them when I was on Healthnet.  Is that still an option?  They have a clinic in Emeryville.

  • I live in Oakland, and all of my doctors are in SF b/c I have various health issues that require me to be followed by UCSF. But it's getting tiresome to run into SF when I have something minor like strep, etc. 

    I'm currently on Healthnet Blue and Gold with Hills Physicians, and if I choose a primary care medical group in Oakland or Berkeley, that's where I need to base my other health services. Not going to work for me. 

    What's the best option for UC insurance holders to allow me access to UCSF without needing  prior approval? I'd appreciate any insight, as open enrollment is fast approaching. 


    I work for a UC and use UC Care.  It's a bit more expensive, but you have the flexibility to choose where you want to go.  UC Care is administered through Anthem Blue Cross and since you go to UCSF a lot, the copays may be lower since they are "in network".

    We have a similar healthcare situation in our family: specialist at UCSF, but want to have access to primary care nearer home in the East Bay.  UC Care works fine for this.  Costs more, but if you have a serious, complicated medical condition as we do, it is worth it.  Best of luck.

    I have Blue and Gold and have been able to get approval to see specialists across the Bay. Apparently the Dr. just needs to justify it. You might explore before switching.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Just took a job at UCB, what are our options?

May 2007

My family (includes 2 adults and 11- and 13- year-old children) will be starting to get UC Berkeley benefits on July 1. We'll be moving to Berkeley from out of state and seek recommendations on health insurance choices-- cost, flexibility etc. wondering

I have the Blue Cross plus plan -- although more expensive than the Kaiser plan, I like being able to choose my own doctors (you still have to stay within their network, but there is a pretty large pool to choose from). Also, I like the accupuncture/chiropractic and behavioral health benefits -- they are very good and again the network(s) seem to be pretty good. .

When my husband began his job at UC three years ago, we decided to try the Kaiser plan since it seemed to offer the most coverage for the lowest premiums and co- pays. I was skeptical at first, but decided to at least try it. I have seen doctors at several of the facilities (you have the right to choose). We have been so happy with the doctors and care we have recieved at Kaiser that now I wouldn't want any other plan. I am very attached to my doctors and feel we have been given excellent care even when doctors on call were simply assigned to us. I delivered my baby at Kaiser Walnut Creek in March and had a great experience there as well. I feel so lucky that we are Kaiser members. I should say that I have the least experience with Kaiser Oakland. I usually go to Walnut Creek, Park Shadelands (great facility) or SF. You can get good recommendations from Berkeley Parents Network and remember that you can always switch doctors within the system. There are plenty of good ones from what I can tell. anne