Delta Air Lines will begin charging unvaccinated employees on the company health plan $200 a month “to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” CEO Ed Bastian announced Wednesday.
In a memo to Delta employees, Bastian said the average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. He noted that in recent weeks, “since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated.”
The $200 monthly surcharge goes into effect on Nov. 1, and it will apply to all unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s account-based healthcare plan.
Additionally, effective Sept. 30, Delta’s COVID pay protection for its employees “will only be provided to fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing a breakthrough infection,” according to the CEO.
About 75% of Delta’s employees have been vaccinated, according to company, which does not mandate vaccines for it employees. Bastian is hoping the new measures will increase the company’s vaccination rate to 100%.
“I know some of you may be taking a wait-and-see approach or waiting for full FDA approval. With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now,” Bastian said.
Other measures announced by Delta on Wednesday include:
- Effective immediately, unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks in all indoor Delta settings.
- Starting Sept. 12, any U.S. Delta employee who is not fully vaccinated will be required to take a COVID test each week while community case rates are high. Those with a positive result will need to isolate and remain out of the workplace.
For more information, visit: https://news.delta.com/ed-bastian-memo-covid-19-update