The largest health system in Louisiana will start fining employees hundreds of dollars a month if they are married to an unvaccinated person.
“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,” CEO of Ochsner Health, Warner Thomas, told NOLA.
Ochsner Health will start charging employees $200 per month, or $100 per pay period, if their spouse or partner is unvaccinated. The “spousal COVID vaccine fee” will begin in 2022, and Thomas said it is not a mandate, saying non-employed spouses and domestic partners can select a health plan outside the Ochsner’s offerings.
“This is not a mandate as non-employed spouses and domestic partners can choose to select a health plan outside of Ochsner Health offerings,” he told NOLA.
The fee only applies to domestic partners or spouses, not other dependents such as children, who are covered by the employee’s health insurance.
The announcement was met with condemnation by some on social media, including the Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian student activism organization.
“This is a taste of what’s coming. There is no end to the madness. Brace,” YAL’s official Twitter account posted Friday.
This is a taste of what’s coming. There is no end to the madness.
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) October 1, 2021
“When do you draw the line,” wrote singer Five Times August.
“I hope every key employee tells the goosesteppers at @OchsnerHealth to pound sand and quits,” wrote Dan Gainor.
This is an excerpt from Fox News.
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