0 min left

Delta’s Health Insurance Surcharge Sparks More Employee Vaccines

After Delta Air Lines announced they would raise health insurance costs for employees who did not get the COVID-19 vaccine, more workers are rolling up their sleeves and getting shots. The carrier says 4,000 employees have gotten inoculated since the announcement, with no turnover because of the policy.

When Delta Air Lines announced they would raise insurance premiums for those who would not get the COVID-19 vaccine, many questioned how the policy would affect their workforce. The result was more employees getting inoculated and zero turnover. The Hill reports the results were announced at a briefing with the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Employees Elect to Get Vaccine to Avoid Surcharge, While Staying At Work

At the event, Delta’s chief health officer Dr. Henry Ting said nearly 20 percent of the 20,000 unvaccinated employees elected to get the shot after the policy was announced on August 25, 2021. While the Atlanta-based carrier has not made vaccines mandatory, they were among the first carriers to announce anyone joining the airline would be required to get one of the approved shots prior to their first day.

In addition, no employees have left their employment with the carrier due to the policies. Ting also said that the airline has not seen anyone quit because of the additional $200 health insurance surcharge. However, he did not get into details on any internal feedback the leadership has received about the changes.

Under the carrier’s current COVID-19 policy, anyone who chooses not to get vaccinated will be subject to weekly testing and wearing a face covering when in indoor settings. Anyone who is customer facing at airports or on aircraft are already required to wear a face covering at all times. The health insurance surcharge is the final part of the policy, which will go into effect on November 1, 2021.

Airlines Split on Mandatory Vaccination for Employees

Although Delta has not made vaccination a requirement for current workers, their latest change continues the debate about having a mandatory policy. United Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are all requiring employees to get vaccinated, while American Airlines is joining Delta in offering incentives for more workers to get shots.

JG_Aus September 18, 2021

Good to see that at least some of the hold outs are starting to do the right thing. But I really don't want to be flying an airline that allows unvaccinated staff in customer facing roles, so I'll wait to fly Delta again until either the FAA or Delta fixes the problem.