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Tipsheet

How Louisiana’s Largest Hospital System Is Punishing Staff for Their Unvaccinated Spouses

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

If vaccine mandates weren’t bad enough, the largest hospital system in Louisiana is now turning its attention to unvaccinated spouses.

Beginning in 2022, Ochsner Health will begin fining employees $100 per pay period under its Spousal COVID Vaccine Fee if they are married to someone who is not vaccinated.

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"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," CEO Warner Thomas told NOLA.

"This is not a mandate as non-employed spouses and domestic partners can choose to select a health plan outside of Ochsner Health offerings," he added.

For now, the fine will only apply to spouses, not children, under employees’ plans.

In a notice about the new policy, the benefits team said the fee "aims to protect our entire Ochsner team, which includes employees, their families and the communities we serve."

Young Americans for Liberty pointed out that the fine "is just a taste of what's coming." 

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