Habilitative Services Definition & Services

What Are Ha​bilitative Services?

Habilitative services are therapeutic services that are provided to children with genetic conditions or conditions present from birth to enhance the child’s ability to function. Habilitative services are similar to rehabilitative services that are provided to adults or children who acquire a condition later on. The difference is that rehabilitative services are geared toward reacquiring a skill that has been lost or impaired, while habilitative services are provided to help acquire a skill in the first place, such as walking or talking. Habilitative services include, but are not limited to, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for the treatment of a child with a congenital or genetic birth defect.

Questions to Ask Your Health Insurer
Parents' Guide to Habilitative Services 2024 Update
Guía para padres sobre los servicios de habilitación

Workgroup on Access to Habilitative Services Benefits
A work group was established through legislation passed by the 2012 Maryland General Assembly. Its charges are to determine: 

  • if children who are entitled to habilitative services under health insurance policies or contracts, or health maintenance organization contracts, are receiving these benefits; 
  • if those children are not receiving the services, the reasons why;
  • ways to promote optimum use of these services; and 
  • the costs and benefits associated with expanding habilitative services coverage to individuals under the age of 26 years.

Learn more about the Workgroup on Access to Habilitative Services Benefits on our Legislative Information​ page.


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