Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Update - Bim Group

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Update

1-MINUTE READ

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in covered health programs or activities. The announcement was made in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County and subsequent court decisions. In the Bostock case, the Supreme Court indicated that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex, which includes gender identity or sexual orientation. According to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, “fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences. It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.” Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, said “No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.” Violation of the extended nondiscrimination mandate could result in costly HHS enforcement actions.

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