People chant, “Care over cost,” at a protest held by the Maine People’s Alliance outside of the Aetna office on Marginal Way in Portland as a part of the Care Over Cost initiative on Wednesday. Care Over Cost is a national campaign that was created to address insurance companies refusing to cover treatments doctors say they need, as well as denied claims for treatments people have already had. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Portland offices of a large health insurance carrier Wednesday to demand that the industry stop denying claims that limit access to needed medical care.

Protesters carried signs outside the office of Aetna Health Insurance and spoke about personal experiences with what they said were unfairly denied claims. The critics said companies such as Aetna routinely deny claims as part of the business model, even as they make large profits.

The group later delivered a letter with demands, including coverage for all treatment recommended by medical professionals and more transparency around claims denials.

The rally was organized by the Maine People’s Alliance and was one of 15 events happening around the country as part of a national campaign to demand reform of large private insurers.

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