Georgia Senate chambers with ornate antique furniture and traditional architecture
The Georgia Capitol Senate Chambers in Atlanta. (Nagel Photography/Shutterstock)

A state Senate committee on Monday advanced a version of a sweeping bill that aims to improve Georgia’s dismal mental health care system.

HB 1013 seeks to ensure that insurers provide the same level of benefits for mental health disorders as they do for physical illness. It would also provide forgivable loans for people who become mental health workers. It was approved nearly unanimously by the state House earlier this month.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Monday approved changes to a section that tries to make sure insurers provide the same level of benefits for depression, anxiety and other mental disorders as they do for other medical conditions.

The committee’s version also changed a section aimed at forcing people into treatment. If the full Senate approves those changes, they will go to the state House for consideration.

The bill faced vocal opposition after it passed the state House. Some critics raised concerns that it would threaten Second Amendment rights and raise insurance premiums.

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