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Nondiscrimination Section 1557 Notices Added to Member Communications

February 3, 2017

Recent Section 1557 federal regulations now require all covered entities, meaning those that receive federal funding from U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS), to include a nondiscrimination notice on all significant communications written for members and the general public. The nondiscrimination notice explains the covered entity does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race or disability. 

With the notice are taglines offering assistance for those who need communications in another format like large print or braille, and taglines offering assistance for those with limited English proficiency. UnitedHealthcare is adding standard notices to all applicable materials. 

Which Types of Communications Require These Notices?
Section 1557 defines “significant communications” as those that:
  • Are plan-required materials
  • Explain plan’s rights or benefits
  • Provide information on how to use the plan
  • Require a response from the member, such as required payment or signature
  • Explain eligibility criteria, or a loss or decrease of coverage

Note materials for brokers, consultants and customers do not require these notices. 

Examples of covered and non-covered communications are as follows:

Significant Communications Requiring Taglines

  • Enrollment documents
  • Welcome kits
  • Member notification letters for Formulary/Prescription Drug List (PDL) updates such as Jan.1 and July 1 exclusion and up-tier letters
  • Claim forms
  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)
  • Appeals, Grievance and Coverage determination notices
  • Member websites and apps
  • Home delivery campaigns/trigger letters

Communications Not Requiring Taglines

  • Identification cards
  • Radio or television ads
  • Outdoor advertising (billboards)
  • Banners and banner-like ads
  • Consultant and broker marketing materials (not including enrollment documents)
  • Customer marketing materials
  • Business cards
  • Envelopes
  • Consultant and broker websites, apps

For additional information, please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative.

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