February 20, 2016
ACA update: Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities
In May 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule implementing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rule prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in health programs that receive funding from HHS. Additionally, the rule includes requirements for language assistance for individuals with limited English proficiency, as well as accessibility and effective communication for individuals with disabilities.
In compliance with these new federal requirements, BCBSRI will begin issuing notices to members providing information about their rights under this rule and our language assistance programs as early as October 2016. Employers may see these notices in our 2017 open enrollment materials.
In late 2015, recent BCBSRI made policy changes to address similar state nondiscrimination requirements, including adding coverage for gender reassignment surgery services.