Louisiana health system issues $200 monthly premium to employees with unvaccinated partners

Louisiana-based Ochsner Health is charging employees up to $100 per bi-weekly pay period if their partners are unvaccinated.

The provider said the move is to manage the costs of COVID-19 for employees who become ill, according to The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate

The surcharge goes into effect in 2022 and affects only spouses or domestic partners who are both covered by the employee's health insurance and qualify for vaccination. Ochsner previously mandated vaccinations for all employees.

"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," Ochsner Health CEO Warner Thomas told The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.

Mr. Thomas said the premium is not a mandate, as spouses have the option to use non-employer provided coverage. 

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