COVID-19 vaccinations & insurance costs
JOPLIN, Mo. – The Coronavirus pandemic has had an effect on the prices of everything from the groceries we buy to the vehicles we drive, and it has many people wondering if health insurance be next.
Delta Air Lines recently made national news when it announced it was raising insurance premiums on its unvaccinated employees to the tune of $200 a month.
According to Missouri’s COVID-19 dashboard, a little over 48% of the Show-Me State’s population is fully vaccinated, which means a lot of Missourians will be paying more for health insurance if their employers go the same route as delta.
But the president of Joplin’s Insurancenter says that’s not currently the case, at least with the major insurance providers that his company represents.
“We don’t have any providers that we represent that I’m aware of that even ask if you’re vaccinated or not. That’s for group health insurance, life insurance, group life insurance, and worker’s compensation. It’s been a non-issue so far,” said Insurancenter’s president, Scott Brothers.
But what separates Delta Air Lines from other employers who offer health insurance to their employees? Mr. Brothers has some thoughts.
“Many larger companies are self-insured, and so therefor they define their own benefit plans and they can make whatever benefit requirements for their plans that they want to. But in our local marketplace there are self-insured companies, and we’ve heard of no one requiring people to pay more premium because they’re not vaccinated,” said Brothers.
And while the Insurancenter president can’t predict the future, he doesn’t see the situation changing.
“My own opinion is, we won’t see it become an issue from an insurance underwriting perspective. They don’t ask questions about other vaccinations and things like flu shots,” said Brothers.
Insurers may not be raising premiums based on COVID-19 vaccination status, but an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 72% of health insurance plans are no longer waiving out-of-pocket Coronavirus treatment costs.
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