So, everyone knows that the greater the proportion of people vaccinated, the more effective the vaccine is, and so our target should be close to 100% vaccinated (only close to, not exactly, because there are a small percentage who have a legitimate medical reason not to be vaccinated). And everyone also knows that, unfortunately, there are a significant number of people who are reluctant to be vaccinated, for reasons other than those legitimate medical reasons. It’s not all that big a problem right now, when we’re limited by how much vaccine is available, and someone declining means that someone else moves up in the queue (though it’s still a problem to some degree, given that there’s a reason that those people were further back in the queue to begin with), but it’s going to become a bigger problem with time.
Put all that together, and it’s clear that we need more incentives for people to get the vaccine. And given the American system, it seems to me that there’s a pretty obvious incentive available. People who are refusing the vaccine are putting their health at greater risk, and so it would make sense for insurers to charge them higher rates, just like they charge higher rates (for instance) for smokers.
Are any insurance companies talking about raising rates for people who voluntarily refuse the vaccine? Are they even allowed to? And if they’re not allowed to, should we change the rules so they are?