Starting October 17, 2016, covered entities under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 will be required to post Notices of Nondiscrimination and Taglines that alert individuals with limited English proficiency to the availability of language assistance services. Those Taglines must be posted in at least the top 15 languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency in the state.
These requirements were mandated under Section 1557 of the ACA, also known as the nondiscrimination provision, and were included in a rule finalized earlier this year by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR). Broadly, Section 1557 prohibits discrimination in healthcare of individuals based on the race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping. Previously, civil rights laws enforced by HHS OCR broadly barred discrimination based only on race, color, national origin, disability, or age.
Covered entities include any health program or activity which received funding from HHS, any health program or activity that HHS itself administers, and Health Insurance Marketplaces and all plans offered by issuers that participate in those Marketplaces.
The HHS OCR has compiled a list of the top 15 languages in each state and made those available on their website. Additionally, HHS OCR has provided sample documents of a Notice of Nondiscrimination, Statement of Nondiscrimination, and Taglines available for download in 64 different languages and in two file formats.
For more information, review the Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act webpage at the HHS OCR site.
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