May 13, 2022
  • May 13, 2022

Should employers charge unvaccinated workers more for health insurance?

By on September 3, 2021 0

Delta Air Lines recently announced that it charge employees An additional $ 200 per month for health insurance if they don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Delta said the average cost for an unvaccinated employee who contracted the virus and had to stay in hospital was $ 50,000.

Some experts say the solution is good because it gives the worker a choice, instead of demanding it. Critics have said it is a slippery slope start charging more employees with cancer, overweight or otherwise.

Q: Should employers charge workers without COVID-19 vaccine more for health insurance?

Kelly Cunningham, San Diego Institute for Economic Research

YES: Personal liability should be a consideration in health care coverage. Discounts for insurance are readily available for certain behaviors, such as not smoking or having annual routine medical examinations. Covering health problems beyond an individual’s control is different from actions that put their health at risk. Employers offering group health coverage should be able to impose supplements on workers exhibiting unhealthy behavior and increasing the organization’s health care costs. Getting vaccinated can be considered the same thing.

Phil Blair, Workforce

YES: This should be an option. The rationale for the surcharge is that healthcare costs are increasing by about $ 200 per month per unvaccinated employee due to the high costs of COVID-19. It’s so obvious to me when you hear that 95 percent of hospital and intensive care patients haven’t been vaccinated. Like measles and mumps, COVID-19 is preventable, or at least can be minimized, simply by getting the vaccine. There are exemptions for health issues and opposing religions, but they only make up a very small percentage of the population. It will become even more real when those who are not vaccinated lose their jobs because of companies wanting to protect their workers and families from unvaccinated people.

Gary London, London Moeder Advisors

YES: There is nothing new about an insurance surcharge. If you have speeding tickets, your car insurance premium goes up. Over time (and assuming there is no more speeding), your rates will normalize. This ‘carrot and stick’ approach should apply to non-vaccines just as it applies to speeding tickets, smokers and others whose abuse of their health tends to cost us dearly. in health and in the portfolio. A COVID-19 bounty could actually be economically advantageous for non-applicants.

Alan Gin, University of San Diego

NO: It seems logical that those who impose a greater burden on health care pay a higher premium or penalty. But this undermines the whole concept of group insurance and risk pooling, where the cost of high risk individuals is offset by low risk people in the pool. One concern is that the practice could spread to other areas, with penalties for smokers, women of childbearing age, older workers, etc., which could make health insurance unaffordable for some people.

Bob Rauch, RA Rauch & Associates

YES: But it’s a slippery slope as it could lead to charging anyone with a pre-existing condition. Those who “choose” not to be vaccinated could be seen as similar to those who “choose” to smoke. Smokers pay more for life insurance and drivers with a DUI pay more for car insurance. Ergo, a business may charge more for unvaccinated employees based on those employees being a potential liability for the business.

Austin Neudecker, Weave Growth

YES: Employers pay your health care costs either directly (most large companies) or based on the likelihood and history of their employees’ medical bills. While I think this system is fundamentally flawed, it seems fair that employers encourage vaccinations to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. In addition, unlike a vice practiced outside of work, the spread of a disease that could significantly harm other employees or customers has a direct impact on the business at large.

James Hamilton, UC San Diego

YES: Employers have every right to charge a price that covers costs. Unvaccinated workers can increase company health costs directly for the unvaccinated and indirectly if they infect other workers, as well as expose companies to lawsuits from customers. I am nonetheless disturbed that the Delta CEO’s statement appears to go beyond just covering additional costs and may have a paternalistic element of “we know best what is best for you”.

Chris Van Gorder, Health Scripps

YES: More than 90 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients end up sicker, in hospital longer, and in intensive care more often than vaccinated patients. The cost of paying for someone to get this level of treatment is much higher – a cost that could have been mitigated had the employee chosen to be vaccinated. And beyond the risk to their health and costs to their employer, unvaccinated employees also create a higher risk in the workplace for other employees and customers.

Norm Miller, University of San Diego

YES: If insurers start charging more for health insurance for unvaccinated people, then employees would have to bear this additional cost, as this is a controllable decision on the part of the employee. I consider this to be no different than anyone who knowingly puts themselves in harm’s way and somehow expects society as a whole to cover them up when the “I didn’t expect that.” may the flood be so severe ”is happening for those who shop by the sea at sea level.

Jamie Moraga, IntelliSolutions

Do not participate this week.

David Ely, San Diego State University

NO: If the organization’s goal is to increase the share of its workforce vaccinated, a mandate will be more effective than imposing a surcharge on unvaccinated workers. An insurance surcharge will not be sufficient motivation for one who strongly opposes being shot. Implementation will be difficult, as a worker’s insurance premium may need to be adjusted over time depending on whether or not a booster injection is received.

Ray Major, SANDAG

NO: It’s a bad idea. Period. Setting a precedent that workers are charged different amounts for health insurance based on vaccine or other lifestyle is the ‘slippery slope’. This opens the door for companies to charge more for health insurance for whatever reason. This could include additional bonuses for people who have a chronic condition, have a high BMI, don’t exercise, or have unhealthy breakfast habits. It wrote 1984 all over the place.

Lynn Reaser, Point Loma Nazarene University

YES: Two good reasons to support the policy. First, these employees are expected to bear a greater portion of the costs since unvaccinated people are now the source of COVID-19-related hospitalizations and their expenses. COVID-19 vaccines are readily available at no cost. Second, higher insurance premiums could push more employees to get vaccinated. People respond to incentives – both positive and negative. It is also imperative that individuals are accountable for their decisions, including any costs or harms they may impose on others.

Reginald Jones, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

NO: Employers want workers to be vaccinated. This serves to protect the workforce and customers. Rather than increasing health insurance costs, mandate the vaccine. The law is on the side of private companies that choose to tax vaccines, provided they provide an exemption for sincere medical or religious reasons. Rising insurance rates for unvaccinated workers is not the solution. It is more important to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in the workplace. An infected workforce disrupts productivity, impacting profitability.

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