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Discrimination on the Basis of Age

Elder woman and a girlOCR enforces the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Age Act), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS.  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 which is enforced by the EEOC. The Age Act also does not apply to certain age distinctions in Federal, State, or local statutes or ordinances.  In addition, a recipient may take an action that is otherwise prohibited if the action reasonably takes into account age 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 (42 U.S.C. 18116), which provides that an individual shall not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination on the grounds prohibited under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. (race, color, national origin), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. (sex), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq. (age), or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794 (disability), 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 has enforcement authority with respect to health programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or are administered by HHS or any entity established under Title I of the Affordable Care Act or its amendments.

OCR ensures that people have equal access to and an opportunity to receive services from all HHS funded programs and services. Persons who believe they (or someone else) have been discriminated against -- because of race, color, national origin, age, or disability -- in health care or human services may file a complaint with OCR.

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