Ochsner Health is adding the “spouse COVID vaccine fee” to employees’ health insurance plans in 2022


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A spokesperson for Ochsner Health confirmed that the healthcare system will add a COVID vaccine fee for spouses to its employees’ health insurance plans in 2022.

The $ 100 per billing cycle fee applies to unvaccinated spouses / domestic partners included as dependents on an employee’s Ochsner health insurance.

Statement by Ochsner Health President and CEO Warner Thomas:

Every year, Ochsner Health evaluates health insurance and other benefits based on feedback from our employees and changes that affect benefits, services and costs. Our competitive benefit plans are one of many offers that make Ochsner a top employer in the Gulf of South.

A change in the upcoming health service offer in 2022 is a cost adjustment for adult relatives (spouses and life partners) who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. This fee is similar to that for tobacco users and is consistent with the services provided by many health organizations and companies. This is not a mandate, as inactive spouses and domestic partners can choose health insurance outside of Ochsner Health Offers. As with our Employee Vaccination Policy, spouses and significant other with medical and religious objections can file exemption requests.

As a self-sufficient provider, we work hard every year to keep health premiums low for our employees and their families. The reality is that the cost of treating COVID-19, especially for patients in need of intensive inpatient care, is high, and we spent more than $ 9 million on COVID-19 treatment for last year those that are insured in our health insurances. We know the COVID-19 vaccination drastically reduces transmission, symptom severity, hospital admissions, and death. Approximately 90% of those hospitalized with COVID at our facilities have not been vaccinated since the vaccines were approved in December 2020.

Widespread vaccination is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, and we hope this change will encourage even more community members to get vaccinated. We encourage employees who have questions about social benefits to direct questions to the Ochsner HR Solution Center.

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