How Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act Affects You

  • August 23, 2016
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What is “The Final Rule”, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act?

“The Final Rule”, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act finally codifies and gives guidance on the requirements for language assistance services for people with limited English proficiency (LEP).

Will Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act affect me?

It is estimated that the rule will apply to the majority of 908,000 practicing physicians in the U.S, over 400,000 laboratories, close to 200 health plans and over 130,000 hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and other facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

What if I don’t comply with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act?

The failure to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to health programs and activities (because of the lack of language assistance services) to the 25 million LEP individuals in the U.S. is a form of discrimination based on national origin.  Non-compliance can include suspension or termination of federal funding, and individuals can sue in federal court and can receive damages.