Delta to charge unvaccinated employees an extra $200/month in health insurance

westwind-air-service-_TUvJQS9Aoo-unsplashStock photo credit Westwind Air Service on Unsplash

Norwegian Cruise Lines has successfully fought against Governor Ron DeSantis’s ban on vaccine requirements. Norwegian is not the only one taking these necessary precautions. Now that the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved, many companies, including Delta and United Airlines, are mandating the COVID vaccine for employees. However, Delta in particular will be charging its unvaccinated employees an additional $200 a month for health insurance. A Delta spokesperson said that they are doing this because they have to pay $40,000 per employee who is hospitalized for COVID complications. This is their way of staving off exorbitant medical expenses and giving employees an incentive to get vaccinated. Below are a few more details fromThe New York Post:

A number of US companies, including Delta competitor United Airlines, have mandated shots for their employees to protect their operations from the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has hit parts of the country with lower vaccination levels.

President Biden has also urged private businesses to require employees to be vaccinated.

In a staff memo, Chief Executive Ed Bastian said the monthly surcharge would take effect on Nov. 1.

Bastian said the surcharge is necessary to address the financial risk the Atlanta-based airline faces from the decision to not vaccinate.

A Delta Air spokesperson said the average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost the company $40,000 per person. The surcharge would apply to the entire workforce and a proof or documentation of vaccination will be needed to avoid it, the spokesperson said.

Chris Riggins, spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association at Delta, said the union does not intend to oppose the proposed surcharge because it would not affect the healthcare plan it has negotiated with the airline for its members.

But since most of the pilots are not covered by the union-negotiated plan, Riggins said they would see an increase in their healthcare costs if they decide to remain unvaccinated.

In the memo, Bastian said 75% of Delta Air’s workforce has been vaccinated. However, all the employees who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in recent weeks were not fully vaccinated, he said.

[From New York Post]

I was a bit a confused by this story because if the vaccine is mandated then why aren’t the unvaccinated employees being fired? I do not blame Delta for charging the additional $200. Unvaccinated airline employees are dangerous to the public. I also like the fact that the airline unions are not opposing the surcharge. These corporations need to continue to put pressure on maskholes and anti-vaxxers. These requirements are being made to protect the greater good and NOT to infringe on personal freedom. I am not sure how COVID became a political weapon used to wage war by the Republican party but it is absolutely stupid. 75% of Delta’s staff is vaccinated, which is a great start and shows that they are taking this seriously. I am happy to see so many companies putting mandates in place to help protect not only their employees but the general public.


Photos credit: Westwind air service and Lukas Souza on Unsplash and via Instagram

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21 Responses to “Delta to charge unvaccinated employees an extra $200/month in health insurance”

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  1. Gil says:

    When I read about this surcharge of 200 usd I thought about the people that say “but my freedom” to oppose vaccination. Let’s see if their so called “freedom” is worth the extra 200 bucks for these loons

    • The Hench says:

      I have one anti-vaxxer facebook contact who I don’t delete – although her posts enrage me with their stupidity and selfishness – because I read her posts and the comments on them to try and understand where the hell these people are coming from. From her last one I can tell you that these morons do not understand that whilst they are (currently) free to not vaccinate that does NOT mean freedom from the consequences of not vaccinating. So no. They will be squealing about this surcharge as infringing their human rights.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Gil exactly this! If I have to fly with an non vaccinated employees at least o know they will be $200 poorer as they put us all at risk

  2. Lizzie says:

    I assume a few employees have legit reasons they cannot vaccinate. Local new KMOV featured a local man hospitalized, don’t remember how long, with COVID and his share of the medical bills was over $200,000, after insurance. Hospitalization ,especially icu, is outrageously expensive so I think other companies will follow suit.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      I’ve been hearing rumblings of this kind of unvaxx tax coming from other companies.

      • Jessica says:

        I’m a nurse and healthcare has been taxing those who smoke or charging them higher rates for years. This isn’t new.

  3. Ellie says:

    Delta customer for life. I live in Atlanta so I pretty much was already, but this really solidifies it. Unvaccinated people have no business having jobs that require them to work in confined spaces like an airplane around so many other people who have no choice but to breathe the same air.

  4. Southern Fried says:

    So happy about it. Hoping many more companies do the same.

  5. Miranda says:

    HA! The beauty of it is that it’s probably the Republican insatiability for corporate dick that makes it possible for Delta to get away with shit like this.

  6. Izzy says:

    Good. And I hope more insurance companies start raising premiums on people who refuse to get vaccinated without a valid medical reason. The rest of us should not have to pay for them by having insurance premiums go up. Because that is surely coming. I know several people refusing to get vaccinated. Only one of them actually has a legitimate medical reason.

  7. Mireille says:

    Considering the costs of hospitalizations once you get Covid — any unvaccinated person with with no valid medical reason to opt-out, I would have charged an additional $1000 for their health insurance. And another $2000 to cover their families.

    And while we’re at it, there should be a legal mandate that allows medical personnel the right to REFUSE care to any unvaccinated person who has no valid medical reason to refuse the vaccine. Why should clinicians risk their health and lives for these people? Nurses are leaving their jobs in droves and I can’t say I blame them. Force all the unvaccinated to their jobs in ER and ICU so they can be exposed to the harsh reality these poor nurses have to go through on a daily basis.

    I got into argument with a friend of mine, who disappointingly told me that she believes in the conspiracy theories and then went on to espouse her “right to choose” mantra, eliciting the argument women have used for their reproductive rights. I swear I wanted to punch her in the face through my phone.

    • Stefanie says:

      I dont necessarily think they should deny care. Thats just cruel and we’re better than that. I DO think that insurance should refuse to cover it if they chose not to get the vaccine barring any valid medical reason. If someone doesnt want to get the vaccine, I think thats highly irresponsible but thats their choice. The insurance companies should also be able to choose wether to cover it or not.

  8. Veronica S. says:

    Honestly, I’m shocked all insurances haven’t come this year for anybody without a medical exemption. Why pay for potential ICU care when there’s a vaccine?

  9. Nashville Girl says:

    I think/hope we will start to see more of this as we roll into fall open enrollment season. Many big companies like Delta self-insure so they absolutely can set requirements for their employees and base premiums on them. The company I work for has an increased premium for smokers already. I hope we add one for the vaccine.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      I also think we’ll see more of this during open enrollment season. We get a credit towards our costs if we do wellness activities like getting a physical and submitting paperwork from it. Maybe we get another credit for being vaccinated.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I have BCBS Federal Employee & just got $50 added to my wellness card for being vaccinated. Just had to upload a photo of my vaccination card & fill out a simple form online.

  10. pottymouth pup says:

    I wonder if they’re also re-assigning willfully unvaccinated staff in customer facing positions to roles in which they won’t pose a direct threat to customers.

  11. Tourmaline says:

    I’ve heard that many Delta pilots (and also, senior execs) are older, white conservative males who may be antivax and that is why Delta is doing this instead of a mandate. Because experienced pilots are in short supply and Delta can’t afford to have them quit on account of a mandate. And 200 bucks a month isn’t much to these highly paid pilots. Which puts a slightly different spin on this story— it’s a way for them to buy their way out a of a mandate and for pretty cheap too relative to their salaries.

  12. ElleV says:

    Good to know i shouldn’t fly delta cause ONE IN FOUR of them are unvaccinated – fml. fire them.

  13. Chaine says:

    Delta is not putting in place a company-wide mandate to require current employees to be vaccinated. It’s only new hires. That’s why they are adding the surcharge for unvaccinated, because they are not going to fire any current employees who refuse to be vaccinated. I’m not sure what the logic is, but it does NOT make it any safer for passengers to fly with an unvaccinated flight crew just because they have to pay $200 more for insurance!