Surcharge for unvaccinated Pima County employees challenged


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – A law enforcement union has filed a lawsuit against a $ 45 health insurance surcharge imposed each pay period on Pima County employees who have not received the vaccine against the coronavirus and have not been granted exemptions.

The Arizona Police and Sheriffs Conference said in its lawsuit that unvaccinated county employees face the question of whether to continue to pay the costs or get vaccinated, despite personal issues or medical. The surtax, which took effect on November 1, would cost an unvaccinated employee nearly $ 1,200 a year.

The association, which filed its lawsuit late last week, alleges the prosecution violates federal law by failing to offer a reasonable alternative to vaccination. The lawsuit said the county’s wellness program, which imposes a surcharge on tobacco users, allows tobacco users to participate in alternatives such as smoking cessation programs.

The county declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Health officials across Arizona reported 3,249 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 81 more deaths from the virus on Wednesday.

The state has now recorded 1,323,997 cases and 23,324 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations fell slightly from the previous day, to 2,723 Tuesday.

But some of Arizona’s largest hospital systems, including Banner Health, are under greater strain than ever.

Officials say staff are overwhelmed to deal with COVID-19 patients and patients who have delayed treatment for other medical issues. This resulted in postponement of surgeries and elective visits to the primary care physician.


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