Parent Q&A

Primary care physician in Berkeley who takes Cigna Feb 24, 2021 (3 responses below)
Obgyn Recs or Where to deliver with Cigna? Oct 18, 2019 (3 responses below)
Kaiser or Cigna for teen struggling with depression? Sep 16, 2019 (5 responses below)
  • Having a difficult time finding a primary care physician in Berkeley who is accepting new patients. We just moved to the area and really need to find a physician because I have an ongoing medical issue that requires maintenance. I have Cigna PPO. I'll settle for seeing an endocrinologist, since my insurance will allow me to see a specialist without a referral but would prefer a family practitioner or internal medicine doctor who my wife can also see.

    The John Muir/UCSF Berkeley outpatient center at 3100 San Pablo has Primary care and specialty care along with urgent care and imaging all in one building.

    I've been happy with my care there so far.

    Hi there!  We see Dr. Andria Johnson (Family Practice) and Dr. Jianyu Xu (Endocrinology), at John Muir Health in Berkeley. We also have Cigna PPO.  They're both caring, kind and knowledgeable physicians. Highly recommended!

    My doctor retired and my insurance assigned me to a new dr.  — Carolyn Klebanoff. And I already like her a lot! And I can’t say I’ve ever had a primary care doctor that I really thought was great. They’ve all just been fine. But after doing a new patient video call with Dr. Klebanoff, I now feel like I have a PCP that is great   She was super responsive, friendly, communicative. 

  • Obgyn Recs or Where to deliver with Cigna?

    (3 replies)

    Hi all!

    We are moving next month to Rockridge from DC and are pregnant with our third baby. 

    Could anyone recommend a great obgyn and/or a favorite hospital to deliver? We have Cigna healthcare.



    I also have Cigna and recently moved back from dc midway through a high-risk pregnancy. I really liked Attia Kadri, and Arzou Ahsan (who ended up delivering) was very skilled and level-headed under pressure — saved at least one of our twins’ lives. Both are at Sutter and deliver at Alta bates.


    Congrats! I had all my babies at UCSF. Not sure if you want to drive to the city or will be working in the city, but I found it totally worth it, especially because I was a high risk pregnancy (type 1 diabetes) with all 3 of my kids. UCSF is the best but if you want to stay closer to rockridge, I’ll let other parents chime in! :) Good luck!

    Hi Cristina,

    I just had my first baby in August, and I had an amazing experience (I also have Cigna insurance). The OBGYNs at the Sutter Campus on Milvia St. in Berkeley are incredible. I’ve personally seen Dr Thomas and Dr Kondrashov. I trust them completely and think they are respectful, knowledgeable, and include the patient in all decision making. They deliver at Alta Bates hospital also in Berkeley (on the border of Berkeley and Rockridge). The labor and delivery nurses there went above and beyond to give me all of my options, supported me 100% in my labor plan, and made the whole experience very comfortable and smooth. I always felt like I was understood and in control. I would recommend delivering there to everyone.

    Let me know if you have questions!

    Sara Bourne

  • Hi my org is about to start open enrollment and I have the option of changing my insurance from Cigna to Kaiser. My 15 yr old struggles with anxiety and depression and we had a few visits to the ER last year for suicidal ideation. He currently is on meds and those and his psychiatrist visits are covered by Cigna (and we don't love the psychiatrist anyway) but none of the other stuff I've found useful have been--DBT parenting for me, none of the therapists we've connected with have been in network (and my teen won't go rn anyway). I know Kaiser isn't the best for mental health but I'm wondering if we might have more options that are covered, especially if we need some kind of outpatient care or groups. I could also witch to Cigna PPO. Any thoughts?

    I wouldn't recommend switching to Kaiser. I have a 16-year-old who struggles with anxiety and depression--there was some suicidal ideation about a year ago, and even so, getting mental health services from Kaiser has been a complete wild goose chase. (Both at Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser Richmond.) If you're not happy with the therapist you're seeing, maybe switch to Cigna PPO. I wish you all the best!

    As you probably know the Kaiser psych dept has gone on strike a couple of times in part because of the poor services they are forced to provide due to not enough staff. My son does have a psychiatrist and a therapist he likes there, but he can only see the therapist about once a month and sometimes it's canceled. At one point they gave us an authorization for outside therapy, but of the long list of therapists on the network they use, only 1 was taking (kaiser) patients and he wasn't a good fit for my son. We must have made 50 calls. Kaiser does have groups, including some really good parenting groups and groups for teens with various issues, and my partner gets CBT there, but your teen will probably not be able to get one-on-one therapy more frequently than once a month.

    I hope your family gets the help you need. Kaiser will not be great if one of the things you want is weekly therapy; they basically don’t provide it, but can refer you out to either Beacon or Magellan, both of which are sadly very poor.  However, Kaiser does have lots of groups, I think I recall a DBT group for teens when we visited the child psychiatry arm of things. The psychiatrists are mostly very good.  You will very likely find more than one group he or you would benefit from; their “model” seems to be group therapy. If I’m not mistaken you can find their behavioral health groups listed online (don’t have to be a member to view them, but would to enroll). Best of luck. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Pediatrician that takes Cigna insurance?

April 2015

RE: Pediatrician that takes Cigna insurance?

I would highly recommend Dr. Karin Schiffman in Berkeley, behind Alta Bates. She is accepting new patients and takes Cigna. She has a solo practice, so you aren't shuffled among various doctors in a practice, especially helpful in my opinion for kids with a chronic medical condition. I can't speak to her experience with ADHD, but she's the type of person who wouldn't hesitate to tell you if she didn't think she was the right fit for your son. Good luck!

May 2003

We recently switched from Kaiser to Cigna PPO for health coverage. Can anyone recommend a pediatrician who is participating in the Cigna plan? We live in Oakland, near the Berkeley border, and would prefer someone close by, but our main concerns are that we want someone who is thorough, caring, experienced and practical. To explain, I was very turned off by one doctor who seemed most concerned about whether our baby was waking up at night rather than whether she was healthy and well. We would rather find a new doctor who is more concerned about her health and wellbeing as a whole. If that makes sense and you can recommend anyone, we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks a lot. Hope

Recommendation received: