Today the Biden Administration released updated regulations implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in health care. This rule ensures that health care providers and insurers are aware of their obligations and that patients can access the care they need. The updated rule issued today restores explicit protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, transgender status, and other sex-based characteristics, as well as pregnancy and related medical conditions. 

This updated 1557 rule from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services follows that agency’s release earlier this week of a rule strengthening privacy protections for reproductive health care. Together these rules will protect millions of people from discrimination in health care and from improper disclosures of their personal health information. 

Statement by Julianna Gonen, NCLR’s Federal Policy Director: 

“We know from decades of research, and from members of our community who reach out through NCLR’s Legal Help Line, that LGBTQ people are routinely denied medical care or mistreated by health care providers simply because of who they are. And recent moves by many states to restrict access to transgender medical care have made matters much worse. We commend the Biden Administration for issuing these important regulations that make clear that federal law protects LGBTQ people and those accessing essential reproductive care.”