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Does the ACA address discrimination?

The ACA explicitly prohibits insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of age, disability, or expected length of life. The ACA regulations prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. These nondiscrimination standards apply to the Exchanges and Exchange activities; issuers and insurance plans; and the essential health benefits, among others.

Also, health insurers must comply with any applicable state laws and regulations regarding marketing by health insurance issuers and cannot employ marketing practices or benefit designs that will have the effect of discouraging the enrollment of individuals with significant health needs in health insurance coverage or discriminate based on an individual's race, color, national origin, present or predicted disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, expected length of life, degree of medical dependency, quality of life, or other health conditions.

Insurance companies won't pay for services not covered by a plan, such as care that isn't medically necessary. However, consumers have the right to ask their insurance company to reconsider a decision to deny coverage and, after that, consumers have the right to an independent external review of the decision.

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