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Local News

Vaccine Bonus Set For Summit County Employees

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Summit County is providing a $100 vaccination bonus to its staff—regardless of whether an employee is being encouraged to get vaccinated, or the person is being rewarded for already getting the shot.

County Council Chair Glenn Wright told KPCW that every employee and their spouse are eligible for the bonus, if they can show proof of vaccination.

The county will use different funding sources for the bonus.

Deputy County Manager Janna Young said they’re taking advantage of an opportunity offered by their health insurance carrier, SelectHealth.    She said the idea arose out of discussions between County Manager Tom Fisher, Human Resources Director David Warnock and Health Director Phil Bondurant.

She added several employees had suggested offering an incentive.     

“And in the process of that discussion, our HR Director found out that SelectHealth was offering this program, and we would just have to opt into it.  And so it’s included on their end.   So for folks who aren’t vaccinated yet, but are on our health plan, they just have to inform SelectHealth once they get their vaccination, and they’ll get the incentive.”

However, Young said they were also concerned an inequity would exist for employees who had already done the right thing and gotten shots.

“And so we decided, well let’s offer the same incentive for those employees.    And then for those employees who also got vaccinated who aren’t on our health plan, we wanted to cover them as well.  And so I believe that hundred-dollar incentive that the county is providing for employees who are already vaccinated, or those not on our health plan, is being covered by a grant that the health department received.  And then to the extent that they’re not able to cover spouses because we added them later, the county is going on a premium holiday because our health insurance plan has performed so well the last couple of years.  And so from that holiday, there’ll be some money there to cover it as well.”

Young said they can’t disclose how many of their employees are unvaccinated, due to medical-privacy laws.

She also said that under state law, the county can’t just order employees to be vaccinated, at least for the vaccines that have an emergency approval.   Since Pfizer now has a full FDA approval, Young said they may require shots at some point, but for now they choose to go with an incentive.

 

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