Delta Airlines announced Wednesday that unvaccinated workers will be subject to an additional charge of $200 on their monthly healthcare plan starting in November.
CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees that the average hospital stay for Delta employees infected with COVID-19 has been $50,000. The $200 per month extra charge reflects the “financial risk the decision not to vaccinate is creating for our company,” the memo said.
BREAKING: Delta Air Lines says unvaccinated employees must pay $200 per month surcharge for health insurance. pic.twitter.com/Lye141Oed9
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) August 25, 2021
The change will go into effect Nov. 1. Delta will also begin requiring unvaccinated employees to take a weekly COVID-19 test Sep. 12, if they are in an area where community transmission is high.
Seventy-five percent of Delta employees are vaccinated, and 100% of recent hospitalizations of Delta employees have been among unvaccinated workers, the memo said.
The company also announced it would be ending COVID-19 pay protection for unvaccinated workers Sep. 30. (RELATED: Pentagon To Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination For All Service Members Following Full FDA Approval)
Delta is not yet going as far as some other companies in the airline industry. United Airlines announced earlier this month it would begin requiring vaccination for employees. The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and a rise in cases facilitated by the delta variant has resulted in a decrease in airline traffic, which had been recovering in recent months, according to NBC News.