Habilitation services

Habilitation care helps people learn, keep, or improve skills for everyday life activities. It's different from rehabilitation. Rehab teaches people to recover skills they once had. Habilitation teaches a skill that you haven't had before. You are learning how to do something for the first time. It can include learning how to walk, bathe, speak, and more.

Habilitation may use physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other types of treatment.

Some reasons for these services are to help:

  • A child who's not talking as expected for their age
  • Children or adults with intellectual disabilities
  • People with cerebral palsy
  • People with autism

Habilitation is one of the essential health benefits all health plans sold to individuals or through small employers must cover. These are the core benefits all health plans must have to be in a state’s Marketplace. Medicaid must also cover these services.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sarah Goodell on June 21, 2021
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