Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities. Section 1557 builds on long-standing and familiar Federal civil rights laws: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. Section 1557 extends nondiscrimination protections to individuals participating in:
- Any health program or activity any part of which received funding from HHS
- Any health program or activity that HHS itself administers
- Health Insurance Marketplaces and all plans offered by issuers that participate in those Marketplaces.
Section 1557 has been in effect since its enactment in 2010 and the HHS Office for Civil Rights has been enforcing the provision since it was enacted. If you believe you have been discriminated against on one of the bases protected by Section 1557, you may file a complaint with OCR.