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American companies will cut salaries for employees unvaccinated from COVID-19

Employers will charge $ 20 to $ 50 a month for their unvaccinated workers, according to one of the nation's largest health advisory centers. Writes about it Forbes.

Photo: Shutterstock

To date, employers have offered gift cards, day off, cash and other incentives to convince their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

But the carrot approach is about to be accompanied by a stick that can cost employees up to $ 50 a month, according to Mercer, a large employee benefit consulting agency that works with thousands of employers around the world.

“Employers have tried to encourage employees to get vaccinated by offering incentives such as paid leave and money. However, with the Delta variant, which led to an increase in the number of infections, some employers decided to take a more radical step. Over the past few weeks, we've received inquiries from at least 20 employers who are considering adding additional health insurance charges for unvaccinated people to improve vaccination rates among their employees, ”said Wade Simons, Mercer Resource Team Leader.

On the subject: New vaccine-resistant variant of coronavirus discovered in the United States

Mercer did not disclose the names of companies working on the punishment, but says the amount discussed with these employers is akin to the $ 20 to $ 50 monthly fee that companies are already charging workers who smoke.

In addition to public health considerations for encouraging vaccination and maintaining the health of workers and their families, there is also a financial reason. COVID-19 can lead to serious illness and costly hospital stays paid for by the company’s insurance, which also leads to higher premiums.

In the New York Times, there are several examples of how COVID-19 can increase costs and premiums for the unvaccinated.

"Hospitalization with COVID-19 in the United States usually results in huge bills," wrote Stanford University's Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal and Glenn Cramon, citing examples that included "a $ 104 bill for a 000-day Miami hospital stay for an uninsured person." ...

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Although premium premiums are just beginning to be considered, financial incentives are already being used by some employers. Mercer's data from a survey of more than 300 employers over the past month shows that only 10% provide financial incentives, although 19% offer additional paid leave as compensation. Some employers are now offering additional leave to help their children get vaccinated. ”

Benefit consultants are seeing employers' drive to vaccinate their employees only increases as employees return to the office after 18 months of telecommuting.

“Last week, several big names, including Google and Facebook, announced plans to require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to the office,” wrote Mercer's Simons. “And while many employers are willing to take additional steps to increase vaccine levels, most employers continue to postpone mandates due to potential employee relations issues that such a move could cause. Now that the Delta option is driving infections and hospitalizations across the country - while vaccination rates have stalled - premiums for health insurance for unvaccinated individuals have become a tactic that employers see as an alternative to the mandate. ”

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