This is the Human Resources category of the Broad REach Benefits blog. At Broad Reach Benefits, we focus on employers that have between 30 and 500 benefit eligible employees. We’re employee benefit specialists, not a big box brokerage firm or payroll company with a sales force peddling policies.
As the U.S. continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinations of Americans age 12 and older are underway with approximately half of the eligible population vaccinated against the virus. In the States, there are currently three vaccines—one from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson—that are available, with distribution being handled at the state and local level.
To help combat the pandemic, many employers are implementing some level of a vaccine mandate at work, with some employers requiring all employees who return to the office to be vaccinated (ex: Google, Facebook and Anthem), requiring all new hires to show proof of vaccination (Disney) or merely requiring all their U.S.-based employee population to be vaccinated by a certain date (United Airlines). Members of the U.S. military will also be required to be vaccinated as a matter of national security to maintain military readiness.
As businesses are eager to return to the office and bring customers back on-site as applicable, many employers are wondering if they can modify their group health plan design to provide richer benefits for employees who are vaccinated.
Specifically, employers are wondering if:
- They can limit eligibility for their group health plan to only employees who have received the vaccine (or who have a medical or religious waiver);
- They can charge vaccinated employees lower premiums, co-pays or deductible limits (or, conversely, charge non-vaccinated employees higher premiums, co-pays or deductibles);
- Exclude all COVID-19 treatment from group health plan coverage for employees who are not vaccinated (example: the plan would deny all claims for out-patient, in-patient or prescription drug treatment of COVID-19 for individuals who are not vaccinated;
- Provide larger HSA, HRA, or FSA contributions to individuals who are […]