Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act: What Does It Mean for LGBTQ Families?

On May 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule protecting all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and their families from discrimination in health care environments. Under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health facilities, programs, and activities receiving federal funding may not deny insurance coverage or care on the basis of, among other things, sex and gender identity and expression. The policies apply to providers and insurance carriers that serve millions of people. In addition, these protections extend to the families and loved ones of LGBTQ individuals, who may face discrimination because of their close association.

Family Equality Council worked extensively in a coalition to ensure that this rule would protect our families. Read our statement commending HHS for issuing this final rule.

Read our statement

For more information about how the ACA benefits LGBTQ people and their families, read our guide preparing for the 2014 implementation of the ACA, which outlines everything you need to know about the Act.

Read our guide 

For more information about the benefits of Section 1557 with special attention paid to its implications for transgender people, read this FAQ from the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).


 If you have any additional questions about the ACA or the benefits of Section 1557, contact Senior Policy Counsel Shelbi Day  at