BCBSIL: Stop Denying Our Care!

May 9, 2023


May 9, 2023

Contact: Marie Rowley, mr*****@on**********.org, 773-769-3232 x100

Local Community Organizations Rally Outside Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Downtown Headquarters to Demand Corporation Reverse Denied Claims

ONE Northside, Jane Addams Senior Caucus and The People’s Lobby Join National “Care Over Cost” Day of Action to Bring Attention to the Growing Profits of Insurance Companies

Chicago, IL
– Local community-organizing non-profits ONE Northside, Jane Addams Senior Caucus and The People’s Lobby rallied at the downtown office of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) with a clear demand: stop denying care to insured members and put people over profit. BCBSIL is part of Elevance Health, formerly Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, whose business model relies on routinely denying its members care. Last year, Elevance reported $8.5 billion in profits. The action comes a day before Elevance Health’s Shareholder Meeting and was part of a coordinated national campaign, with similar events happening in St. Louis, MO, Marquette, MI, and Syracuse, NY. 

At the rally, ONS, JASC and TPL leaders, health care advocates, and community members delivered a letter with their demands to BCBSIL President Stephen Harris and shared personal stories of how being denied necessary medical care or medication by BCBSIL had caused them pain or medical complications. 

“After being diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, my doctor ordered blood tests from an outside lab,” explained Kaidrea from The People’s Lobby (last name withheld for privacy). “Even though I called the lab and was told that the bloodwork I needed would be covered by my insurance, I ended up with an $11,000 bill that I just can’t pay. I don’t know how to fix this and now I’m in massive medical debt.” 

“If Blue Cross Blue Shield approved the medication my doctor prescribed without me having to wait 6 months, I would be able to live pain free which would make my whole life easier,” said ONE Northside Leader Mia (last name withheld for privacy). “When my doctor prescribed me a medication, I should be able to access that medication. BCBS, I live in daily pain because you put cost over my care.”

Photos and video of the action may be found here.

ONE Northside, Jane Addams Senior Caucus and The People’s Lobby are members of the People’s Action 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. 

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