NCQA Comments on ACA Non-discrimination Proposal

NCQA opposed proposal to curtail protections for LGBT patients.

August 13, 2019

Alex Azar, Secretary
Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 509F,
200 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20201

Re: RIN 0945-AA11

Dear Secretary Azar:

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is committed to improving the quality of health care for all Americans regardless of their sex, race, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical or mental ability.

NCQA therefore opposes the proposed rule on Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities because it would severely threaten lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) patients’ access to care. The proposed rule also would create confusion about patients’ and providers’ rights and obligations, foster discrimination and let insurers deny transgender people coverage for services provided to non-transgender people. The rule would also make it harder for other people experiencing discrimination in health care to know and exercise their rights, including people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and people suffering from chronic health conditions, like HIV.

The 2016 rule implementing the Affordable Care Act’s §1557 protections does not interfere with professional medical judgment. It simply ensures LGBT patients’ equal access to medically necessary care. It is the product of a six-year study and over 25,000 responses from stakeholders who overwhelmingly in support of inclusion of protections against discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.

We urge you to withdraw the proposed rule and maintain the 2016 protections.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. If you have questions please contact Paul Cotton, Director of Federal Affairs, at (202) 955-5162 or



Margaret E. O’Kane

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