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New ACA Rule: How do you say “nondiscrimination” in Amharic?

aca rules health center languages

How do you say “nondiscrimination” in Amharic? New ACA Rule Requires Postings in Top 15 Languages for Each State

Last month, a new Federal policy went into effect that requires “taglines” on their nondiscrimination policy to be posted in 15 languages. The posting is required of health centers and other locations that provide health services using Federal funds.

The posting requirement is a newly enacted portion of Section 1557, the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. Section 1557, most of which came into effect immediately upon the enactment of the ACA in 2010, clearly spells out that it us unlawful for any healthcare provider to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, in health programs or services that receive Federal assistance.

To help health centers comply, Health and Human Resources has posted a sample “tagline” that informs patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) of language assistance services. That sample tagline is translated in 64 languages! Here’s the sample tagline they provide, translated in Spanish:

“ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx (TTY: 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx).”

Here it is again, in Igbo asusu, a language spoken by the Igbo ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria:

“Ntị: Ọ bụrụ na asụ Ibo, asụsụ aka ọasụ n’efu, defu, aka. Call 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx (TTY: 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx).”

Which 15 languages should your health center use? The Health and Human Services website has you covered, with a listing of the top 15 languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency in each state, and an estimate of how many LEP speakers of each language reside in the state. This is a fun document to peruse, to see the diversity across each state, and the beautiful variety of languages spoken around the country. It’s also a very important document, emphasizing the importance of providing health services in many languages, to meet the needs of our diverse patient population. We at Migrant Clinicians Network recognize that seeking care when you are sick and when you don’t speak English well can be intimidating. Many patients attempting to receive health services may not understand what their health provider is trying to convey. These taglines will go far in demonstrating to our patients at health centers around the country that they deserve respectful and competent treatment for their health needs, regardless of the language they speak.

Click a link to learn more about Section 1557:

Sample Notices, Statements, and Taglines in 65 languages

Top 15 Language By State

Top 15 Language FAQs

Section 1557 FAQs


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