Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Age Discrimination

Elder woman and a girl.

OCR enforces the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Age Act), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in HHS-funded programs and activities. 

Under the Age Act, recipients may not exclude, deny, or limit services to, or otherwise discriminate against, persons on the basis of age.

The Age Act does not cover:

  • Employment discrimination – enforced by the EEOC
  • Certain age distinctions in federal, state, or local statutes and ordinances
  • An action that reasonably takes age into account as a factor that is necessary to the normal operation or achievement of a statutory objective of a program

OCR also enforces Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which provides that an individual shall not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination including on the grounds prohibited under, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (age) under any health program or activity, any part of which is receiving federal financial assistance, or under any program or activity that is administered by an Executive Agency or any entity established under Title I of the Affordable Care Act or its amendments.

OCR can only investigate health programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the HHS or are administered by HHS or any entity established under Title I of the Affordable Care Act or its amendments.

Age Discrimination Regulations

45 CFR Part 90 - Nondiscrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance

45 CFR Part 91 - Nondiscrimination on the basis of age in programs or services receiving HHS financial assistance

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Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on November 27, 2015