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Louisiana Hospital Fines Employees For Having Unvaccinated Spouses


After enforcing a vaccine mandate that could cost employees their jobs, Oschner Health will now charge employees with unvaccinated spouses up to $2,400 a year.


Employees of Louisiana’s largest hospital system could lose more than 5 percent of their annual paycheck to totalitarian vaccine mandates, even if they themselves are vaccinated.

After instating a vaccine mandate for all registered employees, Louisiana health care system Oschner Health will fine its nearly 32,000 employees $100 per pay period for having an unvaccinated spouse listed on their insurance.

In August, Oschner Health announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its registered physicians, providers, and employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or lose their jobs.

Now, the hospital is increasing pressure to get the COVID-19 injection. The latest requirement, which goes into effect in 2022, will hike premiums for unvaccinated spouses. As of now, dependent children covered by the medical plan will not face a fine for being unvaccinated.

“The reality is the cost of treating COVID-19, particularly for patients requiring intensive inpatient care, is expensive, and we spent more than $9 million on COVID care for those who are covered on our health plans over the last year,” Oschner President and CEO Warner Thomas said in a statement.

In what Oschner calls the “spousal COVID vaccine fee,” the health system will add an insurance surcharge of $100 for employees with unvaccinated spouses who are covered under the system’s insurance plan. The fee could deduct as much as $2,400 yearly from an employee’s paycheck.

Oschner’s average yearly salary is about $43,000 per year, meaning employees could forfeit more than 5 percent of their annual paycheck if their spouse is unvaccinated.

Louisiana health employees have been vaccine-hesitant for months and as of this week, less than 50 percent of the population of Louisiana was fully vaccinated. In August, only 66 percent of Oschner’s workforce was fully vaccinated. Thomas previously said that Oschner was struggling with staffing shortages, and “simply cannot find” much-needed nurses to fill gaps.

Vaccine mandates are sweeping the country, with many health care facilities firing employees for opting out of the vaccine. After booting hundreds of workers who chose not to accept an injection last week, New York’s vaccine mandate left health institutions scrambling to find employees. In November, Delta Airlines will raise insurance premiums by $200 per month for unvaccinated employees.