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  • Carole M. Bosch

Equal Access to Health Care Under the Affordable Care Act


Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in any health program that receives funding from the federal government. Hospitals, clinics, and any other entities that receive federal funds may be liable under this law. So are health insurance marketplaces and all plans offered by insurance companies that participate in those marketplaces.

Most notably, Section 1557 is the first Federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. It requires that women be treated equally with men in the health care they receive and prohibits the denial of health care or health coverage based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping. Hospitals, clinics, and insurers can no longer deny health services, provide disparate treatment, or refuse coverage to patients because they are gay, lesbian, or transgender.

Section 1557 ensures that patients have the equal access to health care and health coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. If you have any question regarding requirements or enforcement under Section 1557, please contact us.


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