The coronavirus pandemic has not been easy for anyone. It has placed untold strain on individuals, families, business owners, and government officials. Decisions have been made that will have effects felt for years. Corporations like Kroger are now poised to remove benefits required after COVID — but sometimes only for unvaccinated workers who now also face additional surcharges for health insurance. Are these changes legal?
Not only are they legal, but they make sense for private insurers as well. The more people get sick, the more insurance providers have to pay. That’s why insurers reduce or eliminate costs of preventative healthcare, such as routine checkups — or vaccines. These measures help mitigate long-term issues people usually run into with age. Vaccines save lives and they cut costs for insurance providers.
So why would a private business boost premiums or add surcharges for unvaccinated workers?
The answer is obvious! Not only are insurance companies on board with “punishments” for those who refuse to be vaccinated, but companies also benefit from a healthy workforce. The more people are unvaccinated, the more likely it is that the workforce is gutted by COVID-19 during the next wave or whenever the next dangerous strain lands.
We expect a number of lawsuits following these changes once implemented, but what difference will they make? Although the charges follow sound law, it’s difficult to say if that matters in the current landscape. Former President Donald Trump was allowed to install hundreds of judges at the federal level and three Supreme Court justices. They don’t always rule in favor of traditional conservative beliefs (and it’s primarily the right wing arguing against vaccine mandates or measures to make it more likely people will go get the vaccine), but often they do.
Many states have vaccine mandates. Resulting lawsuits have already been making their way to the Supreme Court, which has routinely ruled against lifting them. If Biden’s mandate ever makes its way to the highest courts, the same decision is likely: A 6-3 split in favor of mandates. There has been precedent for a century that an individual’s freedoms don’t supersede the freedoms of everyone else. In other words, you can’t risk making everyone else sick just because you don’t want or trust the vaccine.
Do you have questions about vaccine mandates or restrictions placed relating to these mandates? Visit website for more information.
Health officials have found that many vaccinated individuals who are getting sick with COVID today received their vaccine more than six months ago and should receive a booster shot. The boosters have been made available to most everyone.
If you’re having trouble signing up for private insurance or don’t have a job, then Healthcare.gov is open for signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare). Those living in poverty can expect big subsidies and might end up paying nothing to receive coverage. This is available to reduce the inflating costs of healthcare in the United States.