Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age by any health care program or activity which receives federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. It is the first Federal civil rights law to broadly prohibit sex discrimination in health programs and activities. The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a final rule implementing regulations related to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which were effective July 18, 2016. Certain notice provisions are effective October 16, 2016.
For health care providers, the rule applies to “covered entities” who receive