Habilitative services are for people who can benefit from one-on-one time with a therapist to improve daily living skills. But such services can be expensive, and not all insurance plans have covered them.
The Affordable Care Act is changing that, says health economist Lisa Clemans-Cope with the Urban Institute.
"You're much more likely to find these benefits in a plan in the individual market [starting in 2014] than you would be today. Far more likely," says Clemans-Cope.
This is because "habilitative services" are included within the 10 categories of essential health benefits the ACA will require in those new plans. Still, while some categories are straightforward — such as maternity care and preventive care — the category including habilitative services leaves more room for interpretation.
For instance, insurers could choose to cover physical therapy for someone with a broken bone, but not cover long-term support services for chronic conditions, such as speech therapy for kids with developmental delays