Kroger grocery chain to end paid Covid-19 leave for unvaccinated employees

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  64 comments

By:   Phil Helsel

Kroger grocery chain to end paid Covid-19 leave for unvaccinated employees
The Kroger grocery store company will end a special paid Covid-19 leave for unvaccinated employees and will charge some $50 a month if they remain unprotected, the company said Tuesday.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Kroger, the country's largest traditional grocery store company, will end special paid Covid-19 leave for unvaccinated employees and will charge some of them $50 a month if they remain unprotected, the company said Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal earlier Tuesday reported the changes in policy for the Cincinnati-based company, which has stores in 35 states.

Kroger said unvaccinated workers who get Covid-19 will no longer be eligible for special paid leave that it put in place last year. The paid leave will still be offered to vaccinated workers who get breakthrough cases.

Salaried workers who are unvaccinated and who are in a company health care plan will also be charged a $50 "monthly health insurance surcharge" starting Jan. 1.

"We created and amended several workplace policies at the onset of the pandemic to support our associates during immense uncertainty," Kroger said in a statement. "The administration of the vaccine to our associates has been an integral part of our efforts and continues to be a focus."

The company has not said how many of its employees are fully vaccinated, and it would not disclose the number Tuesday.

Kroger has nearly 500,000 employees in all, with brands that also include Ralphs, King Soopers and Fred Meyer.

Businesses are emerging from the serious disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which are still being felt. The U.S. recently passed 800,000 deaths from the disease, and increases in case numbers continue to be driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus, even as a new variant, omicron, is increasingly being found.

Companies have been trying to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. Some have required certain workers to be vaccinated, and others have said the unvaccinated cannot return to the office.

Delta Air Lines said in August that unvaccinated employees' health insurance premiums would increase by $200 a month. CEO Ed Bastian cited the high cost of covering workers who are hospitalized from the disease.

MGM Resorts International, known for its Las Vegas casinos and hotels like the Bellagio and the MGM Grand, said unvaccinated workers would have to pay $15 copays for on-site testing or pay for their own tests.

A number of companies, including Kroger, also began paying workers bonuses for getting vaccinated. The company had around 465,000 employees at the end of last year, a spokesperson said.

The issue of vaccination mandates from the government has been contentious.

Courts have blocked some of President Joe Biden's rules for vaccinations. A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction this month against a vaccination mandate for federal contractors.

Kroger is acting on its own as a business, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday when she was asked about it. The change is "not a policy we're putting out there from the federal government," she said.

Some states have required vaccinations for some workers, like health care workers.

The Supreme Court declined Monday to block New York's vaccination mandate for health care workers as legal challenges play out.

The court has also turned down other challenges to vaccination mandates from students at Indiana University, teachers in New York and health care workers in Maine and Massachusetts.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a vaccination mandate for private-sector workers last week.


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  Kavika     one month ago

Good decision on Krogers part.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Kavika @1    one month ago
Good decision on Krogers part.

Agreed!!  Bravo!

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Kavika @1    one month ago

Those employees can always go work at an In & Out.  They are refusing to make their employees get inoculated.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
2  Snuffy    one month ago

I agree, this is a good decision on the part of Kroger. The vaccines have been available for a year now and are so widely available that there is really no reason for someone to be unvaccinated today. While I understand and agree with the medical exemptions (I personally know a person who has an allergy to components in vaccines and her doctors have told her she cannot get the vaccine) I do not agree with a religious exemption.  IMO people who request a religious exemption are cherry-picking the parts of scripture they want to follow and ignoring other parts. I prefer the Good Samaritan side myself.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
2.1  evilgenius  replied to  Snuffy @2    one month ago

Can't vote that post up enough. 

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
2.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  evilgenius @2.1    one month ago

I agree.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
3  Nowhere Man    one month ago
Kroger is acting on its own as a business...

If you have to do it, this is the way to do it, NOT government force...

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Nowhere Man @3    one month ago

Agreed!  King Soopers has gone back to requiring masks for everyone here in Denver...can't be too careful

It also appears while the Omicron variant is a rapid spreader, it's not very deadly, and hardly anyone has died from it so far.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    one month ago
It also appears while the Omicron variant is a rapid spreader, it's not very deadly, and hardly anyone has died from it so far.

1 person is known to have died from it, and that is 1 too many.  The idea that Omicron is less dangerous, is a dangerous idea in itself.  It will lower the number of people getting vaccinated if they believe the symptoms will only be flu-like.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.1    one month ago

That's why I said "hardly".

Once again, the hysterical media is trying scare the vaccine reluctant into getting jabbed. If the previous versions haven't convinced some people from getting the shots, nothing else will.

Might as well tell the truth instead of fear mongering.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1.2    one month ago
That's why I said "hardly".

You're mistaken.  I am not disagreeing with you.  I am merely pointing out the problem of advertising that Omicron is rarely fatal.

Once again, the hysterical media is trying scare the vaccine reluctant into getting jabbed. If the previous versions haven't convinced some people from getting the shots, nothing else will.

Hysterical is a misused word to try and misconstrue media reporting.  But you are correct, the only thing that has successfully changed the minds of these idiotic anti-vaxers is a personal connection.  They change their tune very very quickly when someone they care about contracts COVID and ends up in the hospital fighting for their life.

Might as well tell the truth instead of fear mongering.

I have yet to see any fear mongering except from the far right. 

Truth of the matter is that if you don't get the vaccine, you are putting your life, your family's lives, and the lives of everyone you interact with, in danger.  That is the simple fact of the matter.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
3.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1.2    one month ago
Once again, the hysterical media is trying scare the vaccine reluctant into getting jabbed.

That makes it sound irrational, though. You don’t have to pay real close attention to develop a perfectly reasonable fear of Covid. And it’s equally reasonable to get vaccinated against it.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
4  Jack_TX    one month ago

I'm in favor of this, but it's worth mentioning that it opens the door for future practices that will be massively less popular.

Plus I'm not sure whether or not it violates the Affordable Care Act.  The ACA identifies smoking as the only personal behavior for which insurance rates can be raised.  

The rationale behind raising insurance costs is that employees who refuse to take action to protect themselves from serious illness should have to bear the greater financial burden associated with the increased risk of their behavior.

But once you establish this as an acceptable practice, what doors does that open?  Americans as a whole spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually treating self-inflicted illnesses.  What other behaviors will we be able to penalize in this fashion?

For example, can an obese person be charged more?  Can a person who fails to take other prescribed medications be charged more?  Can there be a surcharge for excessive drinkers?  How about people with sexually transmitted diseases?

As in most situations, it's not as simple as it seems on the surface.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
4.1  Snuffy  replied to  Jack_TX @4    one month ago
but it's worth mentioning that it opens the door for future practices that will be massively less popular.

Insurance companies have already been doing this for many years, just from the other side of the premium.  They set the annual price for your premium a little higher and then offer "discounts' based on healthy living stats, such as meeting a certain BMI, not smoking, etc.  The more you meet the greater your "discount" is.  This is the first time I'm aware of where they are adding an additional cost based on an action (refusing to vaccinate). 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
4.1.1  Jack_TX  replied to  Snuffy @4.1    one month ago
They set the annual price for your premium a little higher and then offer "discounts' based on healthy living stats, such as meeting a certain BMI, not smoking, etc.  The more you meet the greater your "discount" is.  This is the first time I'm aware of where they are adding an additional cost based on an action (refusing to vaccinate). 

The ACA allows them to offer incentives as part of the wellness programs the law requires certain employers to offer.

But as you say, the incentives are based on current behavior, not previous.  So if you are a new hire at Acme Anvil and you weigh 500lbs, you still get the discounts if you start whatever the prescribed behaviors are from that point forward.

And as you also note, it's a discount, not a surcharge.

But we're definitely opening the door for an employer to regulate all sorts of lifestyle decisions and then increase employee premiums for non-compliance.  

Now....almost all of our liberal friends here are supportive of this vaccine idea, in no small part because it agrees with their politics.  If we're honest, some of those liberal friends wish they could rationalize how to take all these anti-vax Trump-supporting sons of bitches out behind the chemical shed and shoot them.  In the meantime, charging them more will have to do.

But as soon as Hobby Lobby puts these same ideas to work, they're going to explode.  At that point, they'll say what they always say...which is... "but that's different". 

The problem is that it won't be different.  HL will be able to say that *insert your behavior here* has an adverse impact on health claims and therefore people who engage in that activity must bear more of the cost of the plan.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5  Sunshine    one month ago

So what extra cost are they associating the penalty of $50 for the unvaccinated with?  Unless they can show the unvaccinated are directly costing the company more funds, I don't see why the unvaccinated employees should be penalized.  

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
5.1  Snuffy  replied to  Sunshine @5    one month ago

The unvaccinated have a much greater chance of hospitalization and serious illness which does increase the costs.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.1  Sunshine  replied to  Snuffy @5.1    one month ago
The unvaccinated have a much greater chance of hospitalization and serious illness which does increase the costs.

I don't think that is how health insurance rates are determined.  Have the premiums for Kroger increased?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
5.1.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.1    one month ago

Where I work, the sickness or health of the employees determine the rates for the NEXT year. I guess Kroger is prepping for that increase??? Hell I don't know and I forget which airline it is but I think they were going to make it $200 a month.

Yep. It's Delta.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.2    one month ago

The companies that I've worked for insurance rates are based on the active year for the next insurance year. The number and cost of claims are the main contributors to any increase. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
5.1.4  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Kavika @5.1.3    one month ago

I believe that is what I just said. Well not your exact words but................same thing

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.5  Kavika   replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.4    one month ago

That is what you said and I was simply supporting it. 

In addition, this is an interesting link that covers the legality of a surcharge.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
5.1.6  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Kavika @5.1.5    one month ago

Thanks I'll read it.............

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.7  Sunshine  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.2    one month ago

If they are going to target all employees with a penalty for rate increases every year because of their life choices then it would be fair.  Start with cardiac patients.

I have never worked for a company where the provider charges different premiums specifically according to the health of the employee.  How would the insurer know the health of each employee?  There are so many variables that go into pricing premiums that any increase could not just be attributed to the unvaccinated employees.

So basically with this $50 penalty that Kroger is charging the unvaccinated are paying for the other employees bad health care decisions.  

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
5.1.8  Snuffy  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.1    one month ago
The unvaccinated have a much greater chance of hospitalization and serious illness which does increase the costs.
I don't think that is how health insurance rates are determined.  Have the premiums for Kroger increased?

No, you misunderstood.  The premium is set for the year and everybody pays that premium.  But as the unvaccinated have a greater chance of hospitalization and serious illness (which costs more money to treat than a light case) the company that is providing the insurance (kroger) is charging the extra money if you are unvaccinated. These are people who are employees of Kroger and are getting their health insurance thru their employer. That is legal, especially if Kroger is self-insured meaning the company is responsible for 100% of the expense and the insurance company is only providing billing services through their network. 

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
5.1.9  Snuffy  replied to  Snuffy @5.1.8    one month ago

And yes, I checked.  Kroger is self-insured.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.10  Kavika   replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.6    one month ago

Companies also have the right to demand proof of vaccination as terms of employment, UAL for instance.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.1.11  Jack_TX  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.1    one month ago
I don't think that is how health insurance rates are determined.

That is exactly how health insurance rates are determined.

Have the premiums for Kroger increased?

Large employers like Kroger typically self-insure most or all of their health plan costs.  So there aren't usually "premuims", in the way that you or I would pay them. 

They do track claims data.  ICU stays are fantastically expensive, and you are hundreds of times more likely to have one if you're not vaccinated.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.12  Sunshine  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.11    one month ago

again, Kroger can not show that their unvaccinated employees are having a direct effect on price increases for their health care cost anymore than they can for an employee who eats like a pig.

The cost of obesity on the health care system is considerably higher than the cost of the unvaccinated.

Estimates of the medical cost of adult obesity in the United States range from $147 billion5 to nearly $210 billion6 per year . The majority of the spending is generated from treating obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others.

Based on our estimates, described below, we find preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations cost $5.7 billion from June to August in 2021.

I would think Kroger would penalize their obese employees too if their intent was to curb cost.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.13  Sunshine  replied to  Snuffy @5.1.9    one month ago
And yes, I checked.  Kroger is self-insured.  

Regardless, their motive to punish the unvaccinated is the same.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.14  Kavika   replied to  Sunshine @5.1.13    one month ago
Regardless, their motive to punish the unvaccinated is the same

On the other hand, they reward employees that get the COVID vaccine and have added programs that reward their customers that get the vaccine.

Kroger has many programs for health including the ''Food is Medicine'' program.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.15  Sunshine  replied to  Kavika @5.1.14    one month ago

That’s great.  Now that they have extorted their unvaccinated employees they will have more money for it.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.16  Kavika   replied to  Sunshine @5.1.15    one month ago

They have extorted no one, the employees have a choice, they made their choice so they can now live with it. 

They, Kroger have given away tens of millions to both customers and employees so the nonsense of having more money from the unvaccinated is just that nonsense.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.17  Sunshine  replied to  Kavika @5.1.16    one month ago

Yes they did make a choice…a personal medical decision. And have unfoundly been punished for that personal medical decision. 

There is no data that the unvaccinated increase the cost of health care anymore than many of the other preventable diseases.

To claim that they do is just nonsense.

Hope an employee decides to file a lawsuit. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.18  Kavika   replied to  Sunshine @5.1.17    one month ago
To claim that they do is just nonsense

After close to two years of COVID, Kroger being self-insured will know their cost from COVID. 

Hope an employee decides to file a lawsuit. 

If they do, they will likely lose.

Employers that are considering imposing health plan premium surcharges to encourage their employees to get vaccinated have clearer guidance on how to do so without running afoul of the nondiscrimination rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Both vaccination surcharges and incentives are permitted by HIPAA, provided that a plan complies with the requirements for “activity-only” wellness programs under the HIPAA regulations. Importantly, that means limiting the amount of the health plan surcharge or incentive generally to 30 percent of the total cost of coverage under the health plan, and providing a reasonable alternative way to avoid the surcharge if it is medically inadvisable for an individual to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.1.19  Ender  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.17    one month ago

Medical decision my ass. 

Let's bring back smallpox and other diseases, you know, because we should never have vaccines...

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.20  Sunshine  replied to  Kavika @5.1.18    one month ago
After close to two years of COVID, Kroger being self-insured will know their cost from COVID. 

I am sure they do but that isn’t what I said.

If they do, they will likely lose.

Isn’t that what was said about the mandates?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.21  Kavika   replied to  Sunshine @5.1.20    one month ago
I am sure they do but that isn’t what I said.

I said they will know the cost of COVID treatment and will also know how it compares to other medical procedures that they insure/pay for. So they do have the data.

Isn’t that was was said about the mandates?

I don't know if that is what was said about mandates. Many companies currently have mandates so there is that. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.22  Sunshine  replied to  Ender @5.1.19    one month ago
Let's bring back smallpox and other diseases, you know, because we should never have vaccines...

well you can freely choose not to but I believe others would like to be vaccinated.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.1.23  Jack_TX  replied to  Kavika @5.1.18    one month ago
After close to two years of COVID, Kroger being self-insured will know their cost from COVID. 

Absolutely, and the costs will be high.

If they do, they will likely lose.

I dunno.  The legality may be a bit unclear amid all the existing overlapping healthcare legislation.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.24  Sunshine  replied to  Kavika @5.1.21    one month ago
So they do have the data.

No, they don’t have any data that the health care cost for the unvaccinated cost more than any other preventable diseases.
That is the full context of what I said that you left out.

Their fat employees cost more than the unvaccinated.  The penalty is unfounded and a wage lawsuit is in their future.

The extra fee is not an incentive to get vaccinated it is punishment for not being vaccinated.  Employee provided insurance coverage is a benefit to the employee as part of their wages.  Any extra fees charged reduces those benefits and wages.  Unvaccinated salary employees are having their income reduced based on medical decisions.  Can you imagine penalizing a transgender employee with extra insurance fees for making a medical decision? Oh mercy, heads would roll.  

Kroger has always had union employees so I am sure that is why they are not applying the fee to their hourly employees.  I am sure it would violate labor laws. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.25  Kavika   replied to  Sunshine @5.1.24    one month ago
No, they don’t have any data that the health care cost for the unvaccinated cost more than any other preventable diseases.That is the full context of what I said that you left out.

Of course, they have the data they have been paying for COVID related illness for close to two years along with all other illnesses they cover. How could they not have the data. I left nothing out, my response was quite clear. 

Their fat employees cost more than the unvaccinated.  The penalty is unfounded and a wage lawsuit is in their future.

You have no idea if that is true, and it is their right to sue so they have an alternative if they see fit. 

The extra fee is not an incentive to get vaccinated it is punishment for not being vaccinated.

In your opinion.

Employee provided insurance coverage is a benefit to the employee as part of their wages.  Any extra fees charged reduces those benefits and wages.

Correct

Unvaccinated salary employees are having their income reduced based on medical decisions.  Can you imagine penalizing a transgender employee with extra insurance fees for making a medical decision? Oh mercy, heads would roll.

Strawman

Kroger has always had union employees so I am sure that is why they are not applying the fee to their hourly employees.  I am sure it would violate labor laws. 

I don't think that it would violate labor laws it would/could violate the union contract between Kroger and the union employees. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
5.1.26  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.7    one month ago

It is the group as a whole that decides. The insurance company looks at the claims from the overall company pool and everyone gets penalized by bad behavior when the next year's premium increase/decrease is established. Hell our company was looking at an $87,000 increase this year and had to take their business elsewhere due to the fact that there was a lot of claims. We currently have put in place a wellness program, company paid, with testing and discounts on vitamins and the like to press for a healthy group to keep costs under control. It is a good thing I was on Medicare last spring when I got Covid. That bill was $160,000.00 by itself but didn't have any effect on the company plan.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.27  Sunshine  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.26    one month ago
The insurance company looks at the claims from the overall company pool and everyone gets penalized by bad behavior when the next year's premium increase/decrease is established.

With Kroger’s new policy it is not everyone in the pool being penalized equally for everyones bad behavior. Why should the unvaccinated pay more of the burden for the pool?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
5.1.28  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.27    one month ago

Only thing I can think of is they are more likely to acquire Covid and the costs to the plan, even though self insured, will go up. As I said, my 7 day ICU vacation, subsequent 9 days in the general population (such that it was), and after that, healthy at home program (2 paramedic visits, two nurse calls, and one virtual doctor visit per day plus oxygen generator) for 11 days cost $160K. And I was one week short of my first shot appointment.

They MAY increase the burden for the pool. Unfortunately for these folks Kroger group is trying to be proactive rather than being reactive.

I wish it wasn't so for them either but...............................

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
5.1.29  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Ender @5.1.19    one month ago

Both of my parents had polio long before the vaccine came out.   Luckily they both survived.  My father survived thanks to an Australian Nurse and my mother ended up with a slight curvature of the spine.  They both had friends that didn't or ended up with life long medical problems.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.30  Sunshine  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.28    one month ago

True the cost of a hospital stay is expensive but I already provided data that the health care cost associated with obesity is significantly higher than the cost of health care for the unvaccinated. 

Perhaps Kroger should force employees to maintain a healthy  weight or be punished.  How would those employees feel about that?  It certainly would cut Kroger’s health care cost significantly more.

Where does the intrusion and enforcement by the employer into the employees private health and life style choices end to save cost?

Americans will not like where these employment practices are headed.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
5.1.31  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.30    one month ago

I do NOT disagree with you Sunshine. Don't get me wrong. And I pretty much agree with the fitness thing. Like I said, we have one here with rewards.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
5.1.32  Snuffy  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.30    one month ago

It just seems to me that you are bitching about a private company and how they want to do business with their employees.  If you are that much against it why don't you just buy out Kroger and then you can change the policy to what suits you.  The only people being impacted by this are managers and other salaried employees of Kroger who are not vaccinated. The expense of an unvaccinated person catching covid can be very high and this is also incentive for that person to get vaccinated. In addition the article does not go into any exemption program that Kroger may be honoring, I do not know if they honor a religious exemption to the covid vaccine but I do know they honor a medical exemption and will not charge the additional $50 for that person.  

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.33  Sunshine  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @5.1.31    one month ago

Oh no…I am adding some thoughts.  

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.34  Sunshine  replied to  Snuffy @5.1.32    one month ago
It just seems to me that you are bitching about a private company and how they want to do business with their employees. 

We certainly wouldn’t want to change private companies unfair employment policies and practices.

We should go back to child labor, no wage and hour laws, no discrimination laws, no OSHA requirements.

Good grief… what an idiotic statement you made.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
5.1.35  Snuffy  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.34    one month ago
We certainly wouldn’t want to change private companies unfair employment policies and practices.

We should go back to child labor, no wage and hour laws, no discrimination laws, no OSHA requirements.

Good grief… what an idiotic statement you made.

Do tell out of your idiotic statement what about the policy of Kroger's is an unfair employment policy and practice.  

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.1.36  Jack_TX  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.30    one month ago
Perhaps Kroger should force employees to maintain a healthy  weight or be punished.  How would those employees feel about that?  It certainly would cut Kroger’s health care cost significantly more.

Personally, I'm all in favor.  I fail to see any reason why those of us who take care of ourselves should have to pay substantially more for our insurance because other people won't.

Health insurance is the ONLY type of insurance where your cost is completely disconnected from your actions.   That was not the case before the Affordable Care Act, and this surcharge practice may well violate that act.  But it was a stupid inclusion into the law anyway, and should be changed.

Americans will not like where these employment practices are headed.

As I've already said, I agree completely.  But most of the supporters of this particular practice are liberals who will enjoy this pain being inflicted on those they presume to be Trump supporters.  They have a history of not considering larger impacts of the things they support.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
5.1.37  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Kavika @5.1.14    one month ago

What these anti mask/anti vaxers don't get is that they could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.1.38  Jack_TX  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @5.1.37    one month ago
What these anti mask/anti vaxers don't get is that they could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

So can you or I, and we would be equally as contagious.

But to the vaccinated, it doesn't matter, because we've never seen vaccines this effective before. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Sunshine @5    one month ago

Their insurance carrier is charging them that fee.

Salaried workers who are unvaccinated and who are in a company health care plan will also be charged a $50 "monthly health insurance surcharge" starting Jan. 1.
 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.2.1  Sunshine  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.2    one month ago
Their insurance carrier is charging them that fee.

Where does it state this?

Seems Kroger is charging the extra fee.  I have read nothing about the insurance company charging Kroger or the employee the extra fee.  

Kroger, the country's largest traditional grocery store company, will end special paid  Covid-19  leave for unvaccinated employees and will charge some of them $50 a month if they remain unprotected, the company said Tuesday.
 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Sunshine @5.2.1    one month ago

My mistake. You're right

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.2.3  Jack_TX  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.2    one month ago
Their insurance carrier is charging them that fee.

They are almost surely self-insured.

Which means they are monitoring claims on an ongoing basis, have seen what a three-week ICU stay costs, understand how unlikely it is to need one if you're vaccinated, and are utterly not interested in subsidizing stubborn stupidity.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.2.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  Jack_TX @5.2.3    one month ago

So I was half right? That would be a moral victory for me

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
5.2.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.2    one month ago

That surcharge is not enough.  If they end up in the hospital due to covid, all expenses should come out of pocket.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.2.6  Jack_TX  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.2.4    one month ago
So I was half right? That would be a moral victory for me

Let's say 90% right.   

There is not a third party insurer, but it's definitely a risk management thing.

Also, from a probably unimportant and certainly tedious math perspective, the $50 is not going to begin to cover the cost of care for whatever unvaccinated people end up in the hospital.  It's merely an incentive to push more people toward getting vaccinated.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.2.7  Trout Giggles  replied to  Jack_TX @5.2.6    one month ago

Thank-you. That's an even bigger moral victory.

Fifty bucks won't cover the cost of an aspirin in the hospital. I ended spending the night after I had my ankle surgery (hadn't planned on it) and the nurse gave me a toothbrush and toothpaste the next morning. I was too scared to look at the itemized bill to see how much that cost Tricare

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
5.2.8  Jack_TX  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.2.7    one month ago

All the way back in 1993, a friend of mine was charged $7 to BORROW a pencil, so no, money doesn't go very far in today's hospital system.

 
 

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