Non-Discrimination Under the Affordable Care Act: A Broad Impact on Healthcare Providers
Reprinted with permission from the Jefferson County Medical Society.
The Affordable Care Act ("ACA") prohibits certain entities who administer health programs or activities from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Six years after the adoption of the ACA, regulations have finally been implemented to provide guidance for enforcing the ACA's anti-discrimination provisions.
The regulations became effective July 18, 2016, but provisions affecting health insurance plan benefit design do not take effect until the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017. There are also posting requirements, explained in more detail below, which go into effect October 16, 2016.
The purpose of the regulations is to reduce health disparities by protecting some of the populations who have been the most vulnerable to discrimination in the health care context. The regulations are consistent with existing federal civil rights laws and make clear these civil rights standards will be employed in implementing the ACA's anti-discrimination provisions.
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