Proposed Regulations Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Protections in ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that clarifies anti-discrimination protections provided in the Affordable Care Act, including by prohibiting gender identity discrimination, enhancing language assistance for those with limited English proficiency and requiring effective communication with individuals with disabilities. The regulation applies to all health programs and activities that receive funding from HHS, all health programs and activities administered by HHS including the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces, and all health programs and activities administered under entities established under Title I of the ACA including the State-based Marketplaces. HHS is seeking comment as to whether the prohibition against sex discrimination, as defined in the ACA, should include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Comments are due by November 9, 2015.

Navigator Groups Receive $67 Million in Funding

CMS announced $67 million in grants to 100 organizations in the 34 states that operate Federally-facilitated Marketplaces and State Partnership Marketplaces to fund their in-person assistance navigator programs. The largest grant was awarded to the University of South Florida for $5.9 million to increase their focus on individuals with Limited English Proficiency, people living with HIV and AIDS, Hispanics and Latinos, and other uninsured populations. The anticipated award amount is on an annual basis and the grants are being awarded for a three year project period, running through September 1, 2018.