Delta Air Lines employees who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 will be charged an extra $200 a month for health insurance starting in November to help cover costs related to treatment of the disease, the CEO announced Wednesday.
All of the Delta employees who’ve been hospitalized in recent weeks with COVID-19 were not vaccinated, CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo to employees.
The average hospital stay for each person cost the company $50,000.
Bastian said 75% of Delta’s 75,000 employees are vaccinated. More than 150,000 doses were given to employees, their family members and friends at Delta clinics around the world.
“While we can be proud of our 75% vaccination rate, the aggressiveness of the variant means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100% as possible,” he said of the more contagious Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in the United States.
In addition to a spike in insurance premiums, all unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks in all indoor Delta settings and must take a COVID-19 test each week starting Sept. 12.
Delta started requiring new employees get the vaccine earlier this year, CNBC reported.
United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have mandated vaccines for their employees.
Airlines have been among the hardest-hit companies by the pandemic, as travel has been limited.