I have worked for several HMOs, but it was not until I worked at a hospital and got MVP coverage that I found something to dislike about managed care.
MVP is, frankly, the worst run health plan I have ever encountered. Their customer service reps are pretty bad. They are unable to do basic things like run authorizations for visits without there being a problem. They are also underinformed about their products. I would say that 50% of the information they've given me on a call turned out to be wrong. I've been transferred to three different people, each contradicting the last. My tip is to keep getting transferred until you find someone who will give you the truth. I've encountered a couple of these old-timers who will get the problem solved, and usually bash the other reps. It's not that the other reps want to mislead you. It's simply that they have no clue about the answers.
The MVP network is incredibly small. Even the very large hospital network near me balked at it. The providers who do take it are often very wary to process your claim. They almost always want to bill CIGNA instead of MVP because MVP has a reputation for stalling on claims. Providers also don't appreciate the run-around they get on simple questions when calling MVP. I saw a specialist once who was told that he was covered. I got an authorization from MVP and then they called the specialist to say that they screwed up and that my appointment wouldn't be covered. MVP never called me, so I showed up to the appointment and had to pay a $100 cancellation fee rather than the $400 out-of-pocket fee. The provider had never heard of a health plan cancelling an authorization after approving it. That also never happened at HMO worked at over the years. But that's MVP: incomprehensible.
The MVP online provider directory asks you for your Subscriber ID. If you punch it in, it says that you've entered an invalid number. The only option is to manually select your health plan, which has its own problems. My plan is called "PPO Preferred" on my card, but you have choices between MVP PPO Preferred and plain PPO Preferred. Well, it's on an MVP card, so which is it? I called up MVP and they told me that the online directory never actually accepts your subscriber ID (the feature is under development). But they keep it up there. So probably thousands of people type and retype their subscriber ID until they just give up. Solid.
The provider directory also has a tendency to return zero results on the first search. You might go, "What, no pulmonologists in New York City?" Just hit "refresh" a couple times on your browswer. Eventually the hamsters within the MVP web site will return some results for you. Make sure you call them to confirm coverage. Some of the people listed as providers have been dead for a couple years, others have moved, and others have decided to give up on taking MVP.
Also, don't get fooled by the CIGNA logo on your card. It does not cover behavioral health or optometrists. You're not crazy, right, so what''s the big deal? Well, if you have migraines, you'll likely get sent to see a psychiatrist at least once to rule a serotonin deficiency. If there's not an MVP provider (and there's few in their thin directory) near year, you'll be paying out-of-pocket. The same would go if your kid needed counseling or your spouse wanted you to go to marital counseling.