In Louisiana, a healthcare system has put forth that they are going to start to charge its employees a disciplinary fee for anyone who has an unvaccinated spouse on its health insurance plan.
As stated in a report by NOLA.com, “Ochsner, the state’s largest health system, will now add a health insurance surcharge of $100 per pay period for employees with unvaccinated domestic partners or spouses who are covered under the system’s benefits plan, according to a letter Ochsner leaders sent to employees.”
The healthcare system is calling the new fee the “spousal COVID vaccine fee” and will start this upcoming year. Reportedly, it has the potential to cost the workers over $2,400 per year from their bi-weekly payments.
“According to the letter, the fee is only for domestic partners or spouses, not other dependents, such as children, who are covered by the employee’s health insurance and are eligible for vaccination,” added the outlet.
The health system already stated that all of its workers have to receive their vaccinations by the 29th of October at the latest in order to not get fired from their jobs, as reported by NBC.
In August, Ochsner joined a growing number of hospitals across the country in requiring all employees to be inoculated. A month out from the October 29 deadline, 82% of Ochsner employees are fully vaccinated and around 86% have received a first dose, according to Thomas. Among physicians and hospital leaders, 98% are vaccinated.
Warner Thomas, the CEO, reportedly stated in a comment, “The reality is the cost of treating COVID-19, particularly for patients requiring intensive inpatient care, is expensive, and we spent more than $9 million on COVID care for those who are covered on our health plans over the last year.”
“This is not a mandate as non-employed spouses and domestic partners can choose to select a health plan outside of Ochsner Health offerings,” Thomas stated, reportedly.
Quite a few companies have started taking very similar steps as ways to either encourage their employees to get their vaccinations or try and force them to do so altogether.
Currently, United Airlines is also slated to dismiss over 600 of its U.S.-based employees in the wake of the passing deadline for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that after the company’s September 27th deadline that required vaccination it has moved forward with its intention of letting go anyone who refused to go and get their vaccinations. The number of people who currently have to look down the barrel of unemployment sits at 593, as reported by official sources from the company.