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Care Over Cost Members Exposed Industry Greed at Anthem BCBS/Elevance, United Healthcare, and Aetna Corporate Offices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – People’s Action’s Care Over Cost campaign yesterday demanded an end to private health insurance industry greed so people can get the care they need, when they need it. Private insurance companies deny well over 248 million health care claims or pre-authorization requests annually, leaving people sicker and in debt. Care Over Cost demanded America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the trade association and political and lobbying arm for the private health insurance industry, direct its members to put people over profit. Meanwhile, hundreds of Care Over Cost members rallied across the country at the offices of some of the biggest private insurers to demand they stop denying care.

“CEOs at private health insurance companies profit off our pain and deny our healthcare. That’s why people are rising up across the country to expose the lie that private health insurers are there for us when we need them,” People’s Action Health Care for All campaign director Aija Nemer-Aanerud said. “We all deserve the care we need, when we need it, and it’s time for greedy corporations like BCBS, Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare to pay up and stop denying care. Insurers must put people over profit.”

“I am tired of insurance companies getting rich off treating patients and disabled folks, like myself, as if we are expendable. I am not alone,” Kristen Whitney Daniels from Shelton, Connecticut said. “That’s why I am fighting and I will keep on fighting these claims and for affordable insurance that everyone has access to.”

Care Over Cost’s specific demands to AHIP and private health insurance corporations like BlueCross BlueShield, United Healthcare, Cigna, Humana, and Aetna focus on ending the epidemic of care denials. Demands included: sharing claims denial data, holding public meetings, ceasing lobbying, and working with policymakers and public authorities to transform the system to people over profit. 

People’s Action Care Over Cost organizations in Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Upstate New York, Downstate New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Maine held actions at 16 locations including: Anthem BCBS/Elevance, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, United Healthcare, Humana, Cigna, and Aetna. Each action included a rally, remarks from people experiencing claims denials, and a letter delivery to staff. In June, Care Over Cost held a direct action with 1,000 at the headquarters of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

The new letter to AHIP CEO Matt Eyles may be found here. Images and video from the day of action may be found here.

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About People’s Action Institute

Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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