Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The final rule implementing Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin
, sex, age, or disability in health programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance or are administered by an Executive agency or any entity established under Title I of the ACA.
The Section 1557 final rule makes it unlawful for any health care provider that receives federal funding to refuse to treat an individual – or to otherwise discriminate against the individual – based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
Sex discrimination includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the basis of sex; pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions; gender identity
; or sex stereotyping.,
The Section 1557 final rule also enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and helps to ensure effective communication for individuals with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Section 1557.
When OCR finds violations, a health care provider will need to take corrective actions, which may include revising policies and procedures, and/or implementing training and monitoring programs.
Health care providers may also be required to pay monetary damages.
Section 1557 also allows individuals to sue health care providers in court for discrimination.
To learn more about Section 1557, please feel free to visit the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR’s) website at http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557
or call the Office of Civil Rights at 1-800-368-1019. The full text of the final rule implementing Section 1557 is available by clicking here
. In addition, answers to frequently asked questions about the final rule for Section 1557 can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/2016-05-13-section-1557-final-rule-external-faqs-508.pdf