Cost of Insurance and Health Care May Rise for the Unvaccinated

In 2020, before COVID-19 vaccines, most major private insurers waived patient payments — from coinsurance to deductibles — for COVID treatment. That is changing and there is logic behind the changes. Insurers are asking why patients should be kept financially unharmed from what is now a preventable hospitalization, thanks to a vaccine that is made available free of charge. More than 97 percent of hospitalized patients last month were unvaccinated. Though the vaccines might not prevent you from catching the coronavirus, they are highly effective at assuring you will have a milder case and are kept out of the hospital. In addition, if a person decides not to get vaccinated and contracts a bad case of COVID-19, they are not only exposing others in their family, workplace and neighborhood, the tens or hundreds of thousands spent on their care could mean higher health insurance premiums for others as well. What’s more, outbreaks in low-vaccination regions could help breed more vaccine-resistant variants that affect everyone. The decision on whether to get vaccinated or not might still be an individual one, but it is one that comes with consequences.