On May 10, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released “Notification of Interpretation and Enforcement of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,” which will change the department’s policy on enforcing nondiscrimination policies under the Affordable Care Act. The new interpretation states that the changes are in response to last year’s Bostock v. Clayton County ruling that banned discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace. According to the notification:
“Department of Health and Human Services will interpret and enforce Section 1557’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include:
- Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and
- Discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This interpretation will guide Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in processing complaints and conducting investigations but does not itself determine the outcome in any particular case or set of facts.”
The announcement does not change the portions of the 2019 final rule on Section 1557 that removed the “top 15 languages” requirements on taglines and notification documents. In 2019, NADP commented on the Trump Administration’s rule.