Speech, Language, and Hearing Services: Essential Coverage of Habilitation and Rehabilitation

Advocacy Toolkit

You Can Make a Difference: To learn more about becoming a Habilitation Advocate in your state, contact coverage@asha.org.

ASHA is collaborating with ASHA-recognized speech-language and hearing associations in each state and the District of Columbia to advocate for the continued coverage of speech, language, and hearing services in Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans.

Speech, Language, and Hearing Services: Essential Coverage of Habilitation and Rehabilitation [PDF] is a tool developed by ASHA for ASHA-recognized state associations and Habilitation Advocates to use when speaking with exchange officials, insurance commissioners, and state legislators about the value of audiology and speech-language pathology services as an essential health benefit. It also outlines immediate steps you can take to protect consumer access to habilitation and rehabilitation in your state.

The toolkit also includes:

State Advocacy: Health Care is Local

As of 2020, states can still offer the 10 essential health benefits (EHBs), but they are able to update their benchmark every year and have more flexibility in deciding what benefits are covered or excluded. Under this framework, states will be able to:

  • Keep their current benchmark plan.
  • Copy another state’s benchmark plan in its entirety.
  • Replace one or more EHB categories with the same category from another state’s benchmark. For example, state A could replace its habilitative and rehabilitative services and devices category with state B’s habilitation and rehabilitation benefit.
  • Select a new set of benefits to designate as the state’s EHB-benchmark plan.

As states consider modifying their ACA benefits, it is more important than ever to emphasize the value of habilitation and rehabilitation coverage.


Audiologists and speech-language pathologists practicing in states considering changes to habilitation and rehabilitation coverage can contact ASHA staff at coverage@asha.org for guidance and support.

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