Put People Over Profit: Health Insurance Companies Rely On Claim Denials, Withholding Care To Achieve High Profits


Hundreds Rally at Aetna and UnitedHealth in Hartford to Demand Care & Reverse Denied Claims

Profits Rely on Denying People Health Care

HARTFORD – CT Citizen Action Group (CCAG) and partners marched on Aetna and UnitedHealth in Hartford, demanding they stop denying care and put people over profit.

Dozens of activists gathered with signs outside of Aetna at 151 Farmington Ave. to hear speakers outline the harm caused by claim denials and profiteering. The group marched, chanting and singing, to UnitedHealth at CityPlace I, 185 Asylum St., where they heard speakers on UnitedHealth profiteering and the harm caused by its gross profits.

Crime scene tape will mark the location of care being stolen – making Wall Street happy by denying people the health care their doctors have ordered.

“I lost my health insurance at age 26 and was digging through my garbage for vials of insulin,” said Kristen Whitney Daniels, of Shelton, who spoke Wednesday. “It is hard enough to have a chronic medical condition without having the insurance company inserted into every discussion and decision. I have recently spent at least 30 hours on the phone trying to get medication. This has got to stop.”

The rally will be one of 14 events happening nationally led by Care Over Cost. Aetna and UnitedHealth are part of the private health insurance industry, whose business model relies on denying members the treatments and medicines they deserve.

In attendance: CCAG, Physicians for a National Health Plan, Be A Hero, People’s Action, and the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees.

Speakers included Phil Brewer, Physicians for a National Health Plan; Kristin Witney Daniels, a resident of Shelton Connecticut, on having to ration insulin and fight for care; and Liz Dupont-Diehl, Associate Director, CCAG.

More than 100 activists marked the scene of this ongoing crime and presented letters to Aetna and UnitedHealth, demanding they stop denying care that medical professionals have ordered, and making obscene profits

Marchers gathered outside of Aetna at 151 Farmington Ave. and march. Singing and chanting, to UnitedHealthcare at CityPlace I at 185 Asylum St.

Video of the protest can be found on Instagram

Why this is happening: In 2022, just four health insurance companies spent $400 billion on profitsCEO pay and stock buybacks. Greedy executives at private health insurance corporations refuse to pay for care through claims or prior authorization denial.

Self-dealing and vertical integration are resulting in ever higher profits and diminished choice and care. Private insurance companies deny well over 248 million claim or prior-authorization requests annually.

Aetna and UnitedHealth are part of that profit-obsessed system, and CCAG and partners are fighting back with other Care Over Cost member organizations across the country to demand systemic reform so people can get the care they need when they need it.

Our demand letter to Aetna is here and our demand letter for UnitedHealth is here.

CCAG has been engaging the people of Connecticut in challenging power for a more equitable and just Connecticut since our founding more than 50 years ago. With our members and partners, we have achieved major wins in climate justice, health care, democracy and voting access, and education equity. For more information visit ccag.net.

CCAG is a member of People’s Action’s Care Over Cost campaign that organizes people across the country to appeal and overturn insurance claim denials from private health insurers and to get people the care they need. In June, Care Over Cost held a direct action with 1,000 at the headquarters of America’s Health Insurance Plans, one of the biggest lobbyists for private health insurers.

NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees has been fighting Mayor Adams from forcing them into Medicare Advantage by Aetna, a private for profit plan that many of their providers do not accept.  The Retirees choose to stay in Federal Traditional Medicare, a plan they were promised and paid for in taxes their entire life. NYC Retirees have been protesting the forced move after the Mayor repeatedly appeals Court Decisions found in favor of the retirees.

Banner Image: Video still. Image Credit – CCAG on Instagram


Marianne Pizzitola NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees

On August 13th, 2021, a group of retirees from many different city agencies got together to form an organization to fight the impending changes to our healthcare. Two and half hours later, five people volunteered to form the Board and one became an advisor to the Board. In the next few weeks, we grew to five officers, four Trustees, five Advisors, started our Facebook group, filed for NYS incorporation, opened our PayPal fundraising account and were approved by the State to conduct business. Six weeks later we met our initial fundraising goal to pay the attorney's retainer and had filed our article 78 petition. Our Facebook page has over 18,000 members and we have an email list of almost 10,000 and both continue to grow. This is a major accomplishment! But we need to grow larger. We need to reach 250,000 retirees!

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