HHS: Affordable Care Act bans discrimination based on gender identity

Have you ever been discriminated against in our health care system?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently confirmed that the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex-based discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity. This affirms the Task Force’s longstanding position that federal civil rights statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex include protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This means that no one can be discriminated against because of their gender identity or because of a health care provider’s stereotype about sex – what a man or a woman “ought to look like.”

Back in June, the Task Force and our New Beginning Initiative coalition partners sent HHS a letter asking for exactly this clarification. We’re thrilled they agree with us and numerous federal courts that have issued similar opinions clarifying that sex-based discrimination protections also address gender identity as well.

Image of protections across the country for transgender people

We encourage anyone who feels they have been discriminated against because of their gender identity to file complaints so it can be investigated. Have you been discriminated against in a health setting in the past? We ask that you file a complaint with the HHS Office of Civil Rights at: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/complaints/index.html