New Yorkers who are unvaccinated could see less money in their paychecks. Here's why.

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Mercer, one of the nation’s biggest health benefits experts, reports employees are starting to add a $20 to $50 surcharge each month to unvaccinated workers.

Mercer consults thousands of businesses. Mercer’s regulatory resources group leader, Wade Symons, told Forbes at least 20 businesses are considering adding $20 to $50 surcharges to unvaccinated workers.

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“Employers have tried encouraging employees to get vaccinated through offering incentives like paid time off and cash, but with the Delta variant driving up infections and hospitalizations throughout the country – at the same time that vaccination rates have stalled," Symons told Forbes.

The surcharge is meant to encourage more workers to get the vaccine and also lessen the cost a company pays on health insurance. COVID-19 can lead to long and pricey hospitalizations that cost the insurance company lots of money and could lead to health insurance increases for a company, officials say.

Companies are also looking into unvaccinated surcharges as an alternative to a vaccine mandate.

Mercer did not name any of the companies thinking of adding the unvaccinated surcharge but say it's similar to companies that charge workers who smoke $20 to $50 each month.

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