Nevada will be the first state to charge state workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge if they aren’t vaccinated. The state Public Employees’ Benefit Program (PEBP) Board voted on Thursday to charge unvaccinated workers up to $55 per month to offset the cost of testing that those who haven’t gotten shots are required to undergo in certain workplaces.

Although Nevada is the first state to announce the new fees, it probably will not be the only one.

Laura Rich, Executive Officer of Public Employees’ Benefits Program at the State of Nevada, Facebook

Beginning in July 2022, unvaccinated state employees and their dependents will have to pay a monthly fee. Employees will be charged $55 per month, while dependents over the age of 18 years old will be charged $175 per month, according to the executive officer of the Public Employees’ Benefit Program, Laura Rich.

“While the cost of surveillance testing is certainly going to be substantial and a main factor, the surcharge is also intended to help absorb the cost of increased COVID related treatment and hospitalization costs.”

Rich added that she compares the premium to a smoking surcharge and said it would help underwrite roughly $18 million in annual testing costs. With thousands of unvaccinated workers, administrators had to decide the extent to which tax dollars should pay for the medical costs of those who chose not to get vaccinated.

There will be exemptions to the surcharge for people with a legitimate health issue or religious reasons.

A report by FOX5 Las Vegas:

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