Employees who are unvaccinated for Covid-19 pose a significant financial threat to organizations of all sizes and industries.
Before developing a Covid-19 vaccination policy, executives and HR professionals should ask themselves these questions:
- How much net profit are you willing to give up in order to treat unvaccinated employees with severe symptoms? It’s important to keep in mind that health insurers don’t take on any risk. Whether your company is fully-insured, self-funded, or anything in between, increased utilization caused by unvaccinated employees is going to hurt your bottom line with claims and possibly higher renewal rates.
- Is it fair that vaccinated employees will largely subsidize the medical costs of unvaccinated coworkers? Within many organizations, employees fund a large portion of the company’s overall healthcare spend, so it’s important that we consider the moral and financial implications of how unvaccinated employees are affecting the rest of your population in terms of higher premiums for everyone, even the vaccinated.
- What is your cash position, and how might you adjust medical stop loss policies (reinsurance) in order to achieve greater optimization?
- If your organization’s health plan is “fully-insured”, how will large claimants impact next year’s renewal, and how would your organization respond to a +40% health insurance renewal? What would you do?
- How much top-line growth are you willing to give up because of absenteeism and lower productivity caused by unvaccinated employees?
- How much operational disruption are you willing to accept due to employee absenteeism resulting from unvaccinated employees who may be out of work longer if infected with COVID-19?
- A more important question is how much operational disruption are your customers willing to accept because of staffing issues associated with unvaccinated employees who may be out of work longer if infected with COVID-19?
- How is your company effectively competing for talent in today’s competitive marketplace? Are candidates asking about personal safety initiatives?
- How will implementing policies around vaccinations (or not) impact your ability to attract and retain talent? Are your current employees posting their concerns online? Do you know?
- How will your most valued knowledge workers respond to your vaccine policy?
- Are your knowledge workers inherently more at risk from Covid-19 than other workers?
- How many different generations are in your workforce, and how will each of them (generally) respond to your company’s vaccination policy?
- How does your organization define “risk” and what is your tolerance to it?
- What legal implications and risks might arise if a judge concludes that your company has not taken sufficient steps to protect employees in accordance with OSHA, the NLRA and other federal or state laws?
- If it’s determined that an employee was infected on the job and suffers loss, how will that affect workers compensation rates? What other liabilities might this expose you to? What if OSHA shuts you down?