The Texas House has given preliminary approval to a bill that would require health insurance providers to offer the same coverage and benefits for mental health and substance abuse conditions as they do for medical and surgical care.

Lawmakers have pledged to make serious changes to how the state offers mental health services. Many have voiced concerns with workforce shortages in the industry, wait lists for treatment and access to care, particularly in rural communities.

Rep. Four Price, the bill’s author, assured members that the proposal applies only to insurance providers already covering mental health and is not intended to expand coverage across the board.

SOURCE:, April 5, 2017