Some companies may require unvaccinated people to pay more for their health insurance

LEHI, Utah – Delta Airlines announced on Wednesday that employees not vaccinated against COVID-19 would start paying an additional $ 200 per month for insurance coverage starting November 1 and that other companies could implement the same Politics.

The airline cited increased costs and risks for unvaccinated people.

More companies using self-funded medical insurance could follow suit, the president of Blackrock Benefits told Lehi.

“If someone has a severe case of COVID and is hospitalized for a month, those costs go straight to the business and that’s a big part of the self-funding side and with any business, but will come back and directly affect the employees downstairs. line and the employer, ”said Bret Harding.

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Self-funded medical insurance means that the employer is responsible for the employee’s health care claims instead of a large insurance provider. This type of coverage is typically used by large companies, but more midsize businesses are joining us, Harding said.

Delta Airlines reported that the average hospital stay for COVID-19 cost the airline $ 40,000 per employee, none of whom had been vaccinated. Long-haul hospital stays and symptoms of COVID-19 are costing employers a lot of money and that’s why, from a financial perspective, more companies could follow, Harding said.

“They have a strong incentive to make sure the risk is managed properly and that’s a big part of what we’re seeing now. Many companies say that we want you to get vaccinated or require it or require it as part of their job, ”he said.

Companies demanding the vaccine, offering incentives or penalties to those who get vaccinated or do not get vaccinated are legal, said Spencer Phillips, an attorney at Employer Lawyer. Employees have the right to refuse, but will then lose their jobs.

“Businesses have carte blanche. If they want to charge for certain kinds of increased risk, which could be the case with Delta, they can do that and tie it to insurance, ”he said.

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In most cases, companies have a legal obligation to provide accommodations for religious or disability reasons.

This type of additional cost for insurance coverage for unvaccinated people could extend beyond individual businesses with self-funded insurance, Harding said.

“There is certainly speculation and carriers considering that yes you are potentially going to pay more as a premium if you don’t get the vaccine because of that same premise, okay you are potentially going to cost carriers more. . ” he said.

There is a risk to employers during this time surrounding vaccines, Philips said.

“When you tie a vaccination to someone’s livelihood and if they have a good reason not to get the vaccine, then all of a sudden their livelihood is in jeopardy and that leads to complaints and lawsuits and I think we will continue to see it grow, ”he said.

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