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Federal Judge Halts a Portion of the ACA’s Section 1557 Regulations


  10:49:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 290 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Compliance

Federal Judge Halts a Portion of the ACA’s Section 1557 Regulations


Over the past few months, MedBen has provided information to our clients about the ramifications and compliance requirements of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA's) Section 1557 regulations, which prohibits employers and organizations (covered entities) from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (gender), age, or disability, for any health program or activity of which any party receives Health and Human Services (HHS) federal funding or assistance. This includes both patient care and health benefit plans, and applies to health benefit plans effective on the first day of the plan's 2017 plan year.

On December 31, 2016, just one day before the Section 1557 rules took effect for some covered entities, a federal Judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction halting enforcement of a portion of the Section 1557 rules – specifically, the requirements relating to the provision of health care services for gender transition and termination of pregnancy.

While Section 1557 only applies to a small portion of MedBen clients, it is essential that those covered entities have a clear understanding of how this ruling affects their compliance responsibilities. To that end, the MedBen Compliance team has composed a document summarizing the current status of Section 1557 and what it means for health benefit plans of covered entities. This summary is available for download and printing at

We'll emphasize here that, due to the federal court’s injunction and as noted in the summary, it appears that you may not have to modify your plan document to cover gender transition services or termination of pregnancy at this time – unless you choose to do so voluntarily.

We encourage MedBen clients who receive HHS federal funding or assistance to read the entire summary. If you have questions, please contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or

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