End of session passed flurry of health bills

Georgia State Capitol
Georgia State Capitol Building (Wikimedia Commons)

Georgia’s healthcare industry is set to see several big changes this year, thanks to a number of health bills passed during the final hours of this year’s legislative session.

Among the proposals up for debate was the Mental Health Parity Act. And Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law earlier this week. It forces insurance companies to treat mental health conditions on par with physical ones.

Georgia health advocates are also celebrating the passage of a proposal that funds more Medicaid coverage for postpartum women.

Backers of that bill expanding Medicaid from six months to a full year say it will help improve the state’s epidemic of maternal mortality and race-based health disparities.

Also passed during this session was a bill increasing lead poisoning protections and enforcement for children, something state regulators have identified as an extensive problem in Georgia.