By October 16, 2016, all health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), those administered by HHS, and Health Insurance Marketplaces (Covered Entities), must be in compliance with the final pieces of the final rule issued by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued May 18, 2016, implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Although most of the requirements of the final rule went into effect July 18, 2016, OCR extended the deadline for the following:

  • Posting a Notice of Nondiscrimination (1) in conspicuous physical locations where the Covered Entity interacts with the public; (2) on the Covered Entity’s website; and (3) in significant publications and significant communications targeted to beneficiaries, enrollees, applicants, and members of the public. OCR has provided a sample Notice of Nondiscrimination on its website.
  • Posting taglines (short statements in non-English languages) on the availability of free language assistance services for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the top 15 languages spoken in the Covered Entity’s state. The taglines must be posted (1) in conspicuous physical locations where the Covered Entity interacts with the public; (2) on the Covered Entity’s website; and (3) in significant publications and significant communications targeted to beneficiaries, enrollees, applicants, and members of the public. OCR has provided sample taglines on its website. OCR has also posted a table of the top 15 languages in each state.
  • Posting (1) a Nondiscrimination Statement; and (2) taglines indicating the availability of free language assistance services in the top two languages spoken in the Covered Entity’s state in significant publications and significant communications that are small-sized, such as postcards and tri-fold brochures. OCR has provided a sample Nondiscrimination Statement on its website.

Additional resources on the final rule are available from OCR, including FAQs on section 1557, FAQs on how OCR determined the top 15 languages in each state, and other summary information.