by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 17, 2021
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You may be surprised at how not being vaccinated can hurt your wallet.
When coronavirus vaccines first became available, they weren't easy to come by and many people had concerns about side effects. At this point, though, anyone who's eligible for a vaccine and wants one can access one with ease. And since millions of Americans have already gotten a jab, there's reason to believe the health experts who insist they're perfectly safe -- and that the risks associated with getting a vaccine pale in comparison to the risks associated with catching COVID-19.
Still, not everyone wants to be vaccinated. For some people, it's a matter of religious objections, which is certainly understandable. And of course there are people who can't get a vaccination due to health issues.
Unfortunately, being unvaccinated doesn't necessarily just mean being more susceptible to severe infection from COVID-19. It could also constitute a blow to your finances. Here are a few ways being unvaccinated might cost you.
Many companies have already imposed vaccine mandates for employees, and that number could grow in the coming months. If you refuse to get vaccinated and don't qualify for an exemption due to health or religious reasons, you could be fired for violating company policy. And if that were to happen, you likely wouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Unemployment benefits are generally only granted to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. But in this case, not getting vaccinated falls under the same category as chronic lateness -- something your employer can dismiss you for.
It's common practice for life insurance companies to charge higher premiums to patients who smoke or have other health risks. If you're thinking of getting a life insurance policy but aren't vaccinated against COVID-19, don't be shocked if you're presented with a higher premium because of it.
Earlier in the pandemic, most health insurance companies didn't require patients to contribute toward their COVID-19 treatment. But now those waivers are expiring, so those who fall ill with COVID-19 and need care will face copays and other expenses. Since those who are unvaccinated are more likely to land in the hospital than those who have gotten the vaccine, higher medical bills could be another consequence of not getting the shot.
Unvaccinated and want to take a cruise? It could cost you. Some cruise lines are now requiring unvaccinated passengers to get travel insurance. That holds true even if you have a credit card that offers some built-in protection. Plus, if you're unvaccinated, you may be responsible for paying for a COVID-19 test at several points during your trip. Vaccinated passengers may be subject to the same testing requirements but have those tests covered by their cruise lines.
Getting vaccinated is a personal choice, and right now, there's no federal vaccine mandate. You may have your reasons for not getting vaccinated, but do be aware of the financial consequences that might ensue.
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