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Department of Health and Human Services Proposes Revisions to the Non-Discrimination Policy of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act

September 25, 2015

On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced proposed regulations to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination by health programs based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Under the proposed revisions, healthcare providers and Health Care Marketplaces that provide health insurance under the provisions of the ACA must also provide effective communication and comply with the accessibility requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Electronically provided information must be accessible to all people with disabilities, consistent with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The revisions also enhance language assistance for people with limited literacy skills or limited English proficiency. These antidiscrimination protections will enable workers with disabilities to acquire and maintain effective health coverage.

The proposal also bans discrimination, including discrimination based on disability in any health insurance program or other health-related activity that receives federal funding, which would include Medicaid-funded employment, and health and community-based support services (HCBS). These regulations are an important step forward for health care and people with disabilities. Read an overview of the regulations.