Section 1557: Protecting our health care laws

August 14, 2019

By Amanda McAllister-Wallner

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Since May, we have been sharing information with you about the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to Section 1557. For those of you following along at home, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act explicitly prohibits discrimination on gender identity and sex stereotypes. The rule was implemented after years of public input, and lined up with California’s state-based protections, which also prohibit health care discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

In July, the current administration finally published its proposed rule, threatening to rollback years’ worth of progress in expanding access to quality, affordable, and affirming health care. That’s why we’ve been so loud on social media, in our newsletters, and on our monthly calls – urging you to share your stories and testimony. Public comments close today and we want to share with you, what we submitted to the Health and Human Services Agency.

CA LGBTQ HHS Network Comments on Section 1557

#Out4MentalHealth Comments on Section 1557

This is also a good time to remind our readers that California’s nondiscrimination protections are still in full effect. If you have been denied health care or faced discrimination, here are some ways you can file a complaint and demand the health care you deserve.

Department of Managed Health Care – If you are one of the more than 26 million Californians in a managed care or other plan regulated by DMHC (and if you’re not, their help line will connect you to the right place)

Department of Health Care Services – If you have a MediCal fee-for-service plan

Department of Insurance – If you have an employer or individual plan regulated by CDI

Department of Fair Employment and Housing – If you experience discrimination from any business, including providers, hospitals, and medical groups

If you want help navigating this whole complicated system, you can contact the Health Consumer Alliance. HCA can help connect you with free legal assistance to fight for your rights.