A Louisiana health system will increase insurance fees of employees with unvaccinated spouses.

A Louisiana health system will increase insurance fees of employees with unvaccinated spouses.

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  1. I’ve been saying it. Insurance companies are about risk assessment and money; this is a recognized risk increase. Expect your premiums to reflect being higher risk to cover than a vaccinated person. Just like how they are allowed to increase your costs by as much as 50% if you’re a smoker.

    If they ever do away with the pre-existing conditions protections you can fully expect having covid to be one such area of issue. Long term issues that can be linked (and boy are there a ton of them) to having had covid will be heavily resisted to cover.

  2. >Louisiana’s largest nonprofit health care provider will increase its employees’ insurance fees next year if their spouses or domestic partners are unvaccinated, the provider said.

    >Ochsner Health said in a letter to its employees last month that it was adding the extra charge — about $200 a month, starting next year — for unvaccinated spouses and domestic partners who are covered by the company’s insurance plan.

    >The letter said this move was an effort to “protect our entire Ochsner team, which includes employees, their families and the communities we serve.”

    >In a statement, Warner Thomas, the company’s president and chief executive, said that spouses and domestic partners would be allowed to file for medical or religious exemptions to the policy.

    >”This is not a mandate,” he said, because spouses and domestic partners can switch insurance plans to avoid the new fee.

    >”The reality is the cost of treating Covid-19, particularly for patients requiring intensive inpatient care, is expensive,” he added.

    >Mr. Thomas said that about 90 percent of the company’s Covid patients since December have been unvaccinated. According to a New York Times analysis in August, fully vaccinated people accounted for as much as 5 percent of hospitalizations in 40 states and Washington, D.C.

    >In August, Ochsner said that its employees must be vaccinated by the end of this month. Around 70 percent of its employees were inoculated at the time the mandate was announced.

    >The provider’s decision to charge extra was similar to a policy implemented by Delta Air Lines, which said in August that, starting on Nov. 1, it would charge any employee who remains unvaccinated an additional $200 per month to remain on the company’s health care plan.

    >Delta became the first large U.S. employer to embrace an idea that has been widely discussed but is mired in legal uncertainty: charging unvaccinated employees more for health insurance.

    >Insurance surcharges may appeal to companies that are seeking a less coercive means to increase vaccination rates, said Wade Symons, a partner at Mercer, a benefits consulting firm.

    >New infections in Louisiana on Sunday were less than a fifth of the amount in August, when the state reached a pandemic high, according to a New York Times database. Hospitalizations are experiencing a similar trend.

    >The state authorities are still struggling to vaccinate people, however. Less than half of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated, according to a Times database, which is below the nationwide average of 56 percent.

    — Alyssa Lukpat

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