Delta Airlines gives workers a choice: Get vaccinated or pay more for health insurance

Delta Air Lines is offering employees a choice: Get vaccinated or pay $200 more per month on their health insurance premiums.

The Atlanta-based airline notified employees of new COVID-19 policies, which also requires unvaccinated employees to wear masks indoors and undergo weekly tests for the virus starting Sept. 12, reported CNBC.

"The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person," said CEO Ed Bastian in an employee memo. "This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated."

United Healthcare administers Delta's insurance plans, and the change came at the airline's initiative.

Vaccinated employees will still be paid through state and locally mandated paycheck protection if they experience a breakthrough infection and miss work, starting Sept. 30, while unvaccinated employees must use their own sick days.