UPDATE: Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) ACA Section 1557 Rule and Impacts on Transgender Californians with (and Without) Disabilities

trans disabled


On June 12, 2020 HHS announced changes to the Affordable Care Act’s section 1557 rule which excluded transgender patients from civil rights protections when accessing healthcare. We wrote about it here last week to draw attention to the need to protect the rights of the many transgender people with disabilities.

To clarify, the rights of transgender Californians are protected at the state level by a letter written by the Department of Managed Health Care and former Governor Brown. These crucial rights are also protected for Medi-Cal patients, in fact, Medi-Cal issued this statement following the HHS ruling, explicitly stating that they remain committed to serving all Medi-Cal patients regardless of gender identity or expression.

Nationally the threat to the rights of transgender people to access medical care under HHS’s rule still persists. Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, finding that it is unlawful to discriminate against transgender people in the workplace was certainly a positive step. Yet there is still more to be done to ensure that all people with disabilities, including trans people, can access the healthcare they need.

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