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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on FDA Issues EUA of Remdesivir To Treat Severe Covid 19 Cases

FDA Issues EUA of Remdesivir To Treat Severe Covid 19 Cases

 

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the emergency use authorization for the antiviral drug remdesivir, after preliminary results from a federal trial showed the drug could speed recovery in patients infected with the coronavirus. The finding, which has not yet been peer reviewed, came after another study found no benefit for the drug in severely ill patients in China. The new results suggest a moderate improvement in the death rate of patients taking remdesivir, whose hospital stays were shortened, on average, from 15 days to 11.

The issuance of an EUA is different than FDA approval. In determining whether to issue an EUA, the FDA evaluates the available evidence and carefully balances any known or potential risks of any unproven products with any known or potential benefits of making them available during the emergency.  Based on evaluation of the emergency use authorization criteria and the scientific evidence available, it was determined that it is reasonable to believe that remdesivir may be effective in treating COVID-19, and that, given there are no adequate, approved, or available alternative treatments, the known and potential benefits to treat this serious or life-threatening virus currently outweigh the known and potential risks of the drug’s use.

The emergency use authorization (EUA) allows for remdesivir to be distributed in the U.S. and administered intravenously by health care providers, as appropriate, to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease. Severe disease is defined as patients with low blood oxygen levels or needing oxygen therapy or more intensive breathing support such as a mechanical ventilator.

The EUA requires that fact sheets that provide important information about using remdesivir in treating COVID-19 be made available to health care providers and patients, including dosing instructions, potential side effects and drug interactions.  The EUA is temporary and will be effective until the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of drugs and biologics for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 is terminated.  It may be revised or revoked if it is determined the EUA no longer meets the statutory criteria for issuance.

Possible side effects of remdesivir include increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver; and infusion-related reactions, which may include low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shivering.

The top coronavirus task force scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci welcomed news of the first potential treatment for COVID-19.  The U.S. government will coordinate the donation and distribution of remdesivir to hospitals in cities most heavily impacted by COVID-19. Given the severity of illness of patients appropriate for remdesivir treatment and the limited availability of drug supply, hospitals with intensive care units and other hospitals that the government deems most in need will receive priority in the distribution of remdesivir.

 

 

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Kenny Rogers Passes Away

Kenny Rogers Passes Away

 

 

 

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Kenny Rogers, whose legendary music career spanned six decades, has died at the age of 81.  The artist’s family announced his passing, saying he died from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by family.  “Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world,” read a statement posted by his publicist Keith Hagan.  Rogers’ family planned a small, private service out of concern for the coronavirus pandemic, “but look forward to celebrating the life of Kenny Rogers publicly with his friends and fans at a later date,” his publicist’s statement said.  Tributes to the country singer poured in from fans and musical artists.

 

Rogers was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, for what organization officials called a “distinctive, husky voice.”  He had 24 No. 1 hits and through his career more than 50 million albums sold in the US alone. He wasalso a six-time Country Music Awards winner and three-time Grammy Award winner.

Some of his hits included “Lady,” “Lucille,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Through the Years.”  His 1978 song “The Gambler” inspired multiple TV movies, with Rogers as the main character.  In 1985, he participated in the original recording of “We Are the World” along with more than three dozen artists. A year later, according to his website, he co-chaired “Hands Across America,” a campaign which sought to raise awareness about the homeless and hungry in the US.

He announced his retirement in 2015.  “I’ve been so lucky to have enjoyed such a long career and to have such amazing support from my fans and all who have helped me along the way, but there comes a time when I need to focus on spending time with my family,” he had said.  “My life is about my wife and my 11-year-old twin boys right now. There are a lot of things I want to do together with them to create some special memories. I don’t have a bucket list of my own … I have a bucket list of things I want to do with them.”

 

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Coronavirus Cases In The US

Coronavirus Cases In The US

 

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The World Health Organization is warning the number of cases of COVID-19 caused by coronavirus is approaching 100,000 worldwide, with more than 3,100 deaths due to the illness. Most of the deaths and infections have occurred in China, where health officials reported 139 new cases and 31 new deaths recently.  

South Korea confirmed 438 new cases, making their total number of confirmed cases over 5,700.  Italy has over 3,000 confirmed cases and more than 100 deaths have been reported. Officials have closed down schools in Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere, with nearly 300 million children kept home from school worldwide. 

In the United States, there are now more than 300 confirmed cases and the death toll has reached 11 — with 10 of the deaths occurring in Washington state. California recorded its first coronavirus death: an elderly man who traveled on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco and traveled to Mexico in February. Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the ship quarantined off the coast of California and is airlifting tests for passengers and crew. Governor Newsom made the announcement as he formally declared a state of emergency across California.

The CDC issued new guidance for clinicians on screening patients for novel coronavirus and assessing their risk for infection. The agency also started shipping its coronavirus assay to labs across the U.S. and in other countries.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 states in the US have reported confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Washington State has the highest number of cases with 70 confirmed illnesses and 10 associated deaths. California has 60 positive cases and 1 death. 

Of the confirmed cases in California, 42 of them are linked to repatriation or international travel. Cases are rising rapidly in New York, where there are 22 confirmed cases across the state with an additional 24 testing results pending, and 122 individuals under investigation.  In response to the rise in cases, the US Senate passed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the outbreak. This came just a day after the bill was approved by the House of Representatives. More than $3 billion is expected to be put into research and development of treatments, vaccines, and testing.

 

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5 months ago · by · Comments Off on Trial of Harvey Weinstein Underway

Trial of Harvey Weinstein Underway

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The trial of Harvey Weinstein is underway in New York and the courtroom will continue to hear testimony from his accusers.  Weinstein faces life in prison on the New York charges and up to 28 years in a separate criminal case in Los Angeles County.  Over 100 women have accused Weinstein of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and professional retaliation.

Actress Annabella Sciorra told a packed courtroom that the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein barged into her New York City apartment one night in the early 1990s, where he held her down and raped her.  She testified that he entered her residence, chased her around and pinned her to the bed during the alleged attack. She said she tried to run to the bathroom, but “he kept coming at me. I felt overpowered because he was very big,” Sciorra told jurors. 

She said that she confronted Weinstein about the incident at a dinner in New York weeks after. She described his response as very menacing “That’s what all the nice Catholic girls say.”  He then leaned into her and said “this remains between you and I.” She described the exchange “It was threatening, and I was afraid,” she said. She testified that the experience left her so scarred that she fell into a deep depression, started cutting herself and began drinking heavily. It was the first time one of Weinstein’s accusers has confronted him directly in court since his arrest in May of 2018 on charges of rape and criminal sexual acts.

The courtroom also heard the testimony of Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant who has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.  Haleyi, who met Weinstein in 2004 and then had a series of dealings with him in 2006 before, during and after a stint as a production assistant on Project Runway, accuses Weinstein of sexually assaulting her on two separate occasions.  Haleyi said she accepted an invitation from Weinstein to fly her out to California for the premiere of “Clerks 2” in July 2006 as her friend was expecting a baby in Los Angeles. 

She testified that a driver escorted her to his apartment where they were “having normal conversation,” and then he suddenly “lunged at me, trying to kiss me,” she claimed.  She said he backed her into a bedroom, where she fell onto a bed and he pushed her down. She said she told him “no,” that she didn’t “want this to happen,” and that she was on her period, all in attempts to “make him stop.”  After deciding no one would hear her scream and that she couldn’t sprint for the elevator or get out of the apartment in any way, she said, she “checked out.”

Four more of Weinstein’s accusers are expected to testify during the trial, though the statute of limitations has expired for all but two of their claims.  The remaining four will testify about their encounters with him to show a pattern of abuse. Mr. Weinstein is accused of five felony counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault.  Weinstein has maintained that the encounters were consensual. The women, he said, engaged in transactional relationships meant to advance their own careers.

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6 months ago · by · Comments Off on Boeing Crash Caused By Missile Strike

Boeing Crash Caused By Missile Strike

 

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Airlines are continuing to avoid Iranian airspace in the wake of missile attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq, as well as the crash of a Boeing 737-800 in Iran’s capital that is believed to have been brought down by a missile.  The Ukraine International Airlines flight to Kiev crashed minutes after takeoff from the airport in Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard.

Iranian officials initially denied that a missile strike was the cause of the crash and claimed the plane was on fire while it was still in the air but stated they were withholding the plane’s black box and would not give it to Boeing or the Americans. The jet crash came only hours after Iran launched missiles at two Iraqi military bases that house U.S. and Iraqi troops as revenge for the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last week.

But pressure quickly mounted after Western intelligence officials said evidence pointed to Iranian involvement.  They later admitted to being responsible claiming an investigation found that “missiles fired due to human error”, President Hassan Rouhani said. He described the crash as an “unforgivable mistake”. The military said the jet turned towards a sensitive site belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and was then mistaken for a cruise missile.

Military officials released a statement that said “ due to heightened tensions with the US, Iran’s military “was at its highest level of readiness.  In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.” The military apologized for downing the plane, saying it would upgrade its systems to prevent such “mistakes” in the future. It added that those responsible would be held accountable and prosecuted. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif apologized to the families of the 176 victims but laid part of the blame on the US. “Human error at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” he said.

 

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7 months ago · by · Comments Off on Police Say NJ Shooting Was Hate Crime

Police Say NJ Shooting Was Hate Crime

 

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On December 10, 2019, 6 people were left dead in what authorities are calling a hate crime at a Kosher store in Jersey City, NJ.   A day later, the shooters, both of whom were killed by police during the siege, were identified as David N. Anderson, 47, and his girlfriend Francine Graham, 50.  Anderson and Graham were suspects in the murder of an Uber driver in Bayonne the weekend prior to the attack.  Authorities say Anderson had made posts on social media that were anti-police and anti-Semitic. They also reveal a prior connection with the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group which has no connection to mainstream Judaism but has been reported to be anti-Semitic.

The first victim was Police Detective Joseph Seals, 39, a 15-year law enforcement veteran and a father of five.  Detective Seals was meeting an informant when he encountered the two shooters at the Bayview Cemetery.  Authorities believe that he approached the suspects, who were in a stolen U-Haul van that was related to the murder of the Uber driver the previous weekend.  Seals was shot and killed.  The suspects then fled in the stolen van and drove about one mile to the grocery store and opened fire upon exiting the vehicle.

Once inside the store, they fatally shot the owner, a worker, and a customer.  Two other customers were able to escape.  In the ensuing shootout, the assailants exchanged gunfire with the police for over an hour until being shot and killed.  A BearCat vehicle rammed through the storefront 4 hours after the incident began- ending the siege.  Two officers, one male and one female, were wounded in the shootout and were released from the hospital the same day.  A wounded man escaped out the back door of the store. He was also treated and released the same day.

The victims of the shooting were identified as Leah Minda Ferencz, 33, a member of the Hasidic community and a mother of three who co-owned the store with her husband; Moshe Deutsch, 24, a Hasidic male customer in the store and Miguel Douglas Rodriguez, 49, who worked in the Kosher grocery store but was not Jewish.  Police say the suspects targeted the store in what they believe was a premeditated antisemitic hate crime.  The stolen van the suspects were driving was later found to contain a live pipe bomb.  Media outlets have reported that a handwritten note, which authorities call “manifesto-style’, was found inside the van.  It said “I do this because my creator makes me do this and I hate who he hates.”

Authorities say Anderson had viewed anti-Semitic materials online, and published reports, linking him to the Black Hebrew Israelites movement, whose adherents believe African Americans are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites.  Authorities say the extent of his involvement in that group remains unclear, the law enforcement official said.  The Black Hebrew Israelites has been described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy group that tracks such movements.

 

 

 

 

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7 months ago · by · Comments Off on George Zimmerman Sues Trayvon Martin’s Parents

George Zimmerman Sues Trayvon Martin’s Parents

 

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Neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old unarmed African American teenager that Zimmerman shot and killed in 2012 as the unarmed teen was returning from the neighborhood store with Skittles and a drink.  A month after the February 2012 shooting, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee said Zimmerman was not charged because there were no grounds to disprove his version of the events. Zimmerman said he shot Trayvon in self-defense.  A jury acquitted him of all charges in July 2013.  His acquittal sparked nationwide protests against violence against African American teenagers at the hands of police and vigilantes.

Zimmerman’s suit is against Martin’s parents, their lawyer Ben Crump, various members of the prosecution and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  The lawsuit alleges that Zimmerman is “the victim” of malicious prosecution, abuse of process, civil conspiracy and defamation.  The chief allegation in the lawsuit is that civil rights attorney Ben Crump helped to swap out a reluctant witness, Brittany Diamond Eugene, for her half-sister, Rachel Jeantel, and helped prepare her to deliver a script intended to land Zimmerman in prison for the 17-year-old’s killing on February 26, 2012.

According to Zimmerman’s lawsuit, Jeantel posed as Trayvon’s girlfriend when it was Eugene who was dating Trayvon and on the phone with him during the encounter with Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain.  Jeantel then delivered bogus testimony on the stand at Zimmerman’s trial being two years older, 5 inches taller and about 120 pounds heavier than Eugene, the lawsuit says.  The suit accuses Trayvon’s parents, prosecutors and state authorities of either having known about or should have known about the witness fraud, obstructed justice, or lying repeatedly under oath in order to cover up their knowledge of the witness fraud.

Crump, along with Trayvon’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, denied the allegations.  “I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is — another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others,” Crump said in a statement issued on his and Trayvon’s parents’ behalf.

“This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions. He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims,” the statement said.  “This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions,” Crump said in a statement issued on his and Travon’s parents’ behalf.

 

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8 months ago · by · Comments Off on Independent Autopsy Rules Epstein Death a Homicide

Independent Autopsy Rules Epstein Death a Homicide

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A forensic pathologist hired by the brother of Jeffrey Epstein says the injuries that killed the multimillionaire sex abuser were consistent with strangulation — not a death by suicide, as a New York medical examiner reported. Dr. Michael Baden says a broken bone in Epstein’s neck is “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.” The claim by Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner who has worked on high-profile cases during a five-decade medical career, is certain to reignite suspicions that surfaced immediately after Epstein.

Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10th as he awaited trial on federal sex trafficking charges. Epstein once counted President Trump and former President Bill Clinton among his high-profile friends.  Prosecutors alleged that the previously convicted sex offender paid girls as young as 14 hundreds of dollars for massages before he molested them in his homes in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., between 2002 and 2005.  Since he was awaiting trial in federal prison, federal agencies had jurisdiction over the investigation into his death.

Baden noted that the 66-year-old Epstein had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, specifically the thyroid cartilage or Adam’s apple, as well as one fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam’s apple.  “Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”  There were also hemorrhages in Epstein’s eyes that were common in homicidal strangulation and uncommon, though not unheard of, in suicidal hangings, the forensic pathologist said.

While there’s not enough information to be conclusive yet, the three fractures were “rare,” said Baden, who’s probed cases involving O.J. Simpson, President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, record producer Phil Spector, New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and many others.  “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case,” the 85-year-old said.

The ligature, or item used to tie something tightly, allegedly was made from a sheet that had been twisted and put around Epstein’s neck, Baden said. Evidence on the cloth material could help prove whether or not someone else was involved in Epstein’s death.  “Whoever it is would have their DNA all over the ligature,” he said. “We don’t have those results yet,” he added, saying those results “should be reported quickly to give an idea and lessen the speculation.”

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement that she is standing by her findings.  “Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination,” she told Fox News in a statement. “We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein’s family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant.  “The original medical investigation was thorough and complete,” she continued, adding that “there is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office.”

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9 months ago · by · Comments Off on GM and UAW Reach Tentative Deal

GM and UAW Reach Tentative Deal

 

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As the GM strike entered its fifth week, the United Auto Workers union announced that picketing workers can expect an extra $25 a week from the union’s strike fund.  GM, on the other hand, can expect its dealers to face increased difficulty in sourcing certain replacement parts, while others worry about the prospect of subpar inventory.  The UAW’s bargaining team presented a new comprehensive offer to GM as talks continued.  In addition to the slightly boosted strike pay, the UAW also lifted the cap on cash earned at outside jobs. Starting Sunday, workers moonlighting at other jobs can keep the full strike payment, regardless of what they made in their alternate gig. Strike payments are typically clawed back on a dollar-for-dollar basis after the worker passes the $250 threshold.

In addition to a host of other issues, health care sits near the top of UAW concerns in this latest round of talks. With GM looking to downsize in an era of shrinking auto sales and economic uncertainty, offering generous health benefits represents a major cost to each company.  An agreement was reached between GM and the UAW that keeps the previous health care arrangement intact.  The agreement keeps the arrangement where workers cover just 3 percent of their health care costs — an agreement GM briefly abandoned earlier in the bargaining process.  The automakers would undoubtedly seek concessions in other areas but unions are not prone to accept concessions lightly.

In the tentative deal with General Motors, the union won on many of its goals, including a path to permanent employment for temporary autoworkers, a faster route to top pay for workers hired after 2007 and a flattened pay structure for permanent employees, who would reach $32.32 per hour by the end of the four-year deal.  The biggest obvious loss for the union is the continued closure of the Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio.

The Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio is to remain closed, as will transmission plants in Warren and Baltimore; and a parts distribution center in Fontana, California, will close during the term of the contract.  The union said it negotiated assistance packages for workers at Lordstown, Warren and Baltimore transmission plants, including $75,000 payments for eligible production workers and $85,000 for skilled workers who retire.  There are also buyout options for those not eligible to retire.

Some other features of the deal include UAW-represented GM workers will get a bonus of $11,000 upon ratification of the deal and temporary workers will get $4,500.  GM will invest $7.7 billion in U.S. facilities to create or retain 9,000 jobs.  There will be wage increases of 3% in the second and fourth year of the contract, with 4% lump sum payments in the first and third years.  Temporary workers, who have been paid $15-$19 an hour with inferior benefits to permanent autoworkers, get a path to a permanent role starting next year. Part-time workers get a path to regular status starting in 2021. These workers also get improved paid and unpaid time off.  By September 2023, all permanent manufacturing employees will be at $32.32 per hour.

The tentative deal is far from perfect and the UAW is trying to persuade union workers to accept the deal.  Experts said General Motors has lost more than $1 billion in profits, while line workers have lost nearly $750 million in income. With the state of Michigan are losing tax dollars, there’s a growing sentiment that something has to change soon and many hope this deal will finally end the strike.

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9 months ago · by · Comments Off on How to Find a Cheaper Health Insurance Plan.

How to Find a Cheaper Health Insurance Plan.

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How to Find a Cheaper Health Insurance Plan
The discounts and cost-sharing offered by health insurance plans are well worth the premium payments. However, premiums can be tricky to work into your budget. It’s important to find an affordable health insurance plan that offers good coverage.
Whether it’s the approaching open enrollment (Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 in most states) and you’re trying to find a better plan or you qualify for a special enrollment period and are making changes to your current health plan, here are three tips for finding an affordable health insurance plan:
  • Set a budget and research current rates
  • Check out the health insurance marketplace
  • Use comparison websites wisely
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Set A Budget & Research Current Rates

 

Calculate how much you spend on health care annually with your current plan. Include monthly premiums and out of pocket expenses. Understanding this will help you know how much you’re currently spending on health care and help you compare costs of new plans.

The next step is to understand the current rates for the number of people on your plan and the coverage level you want. Again, keep in mind that the cost of health insurance includes premiums, the deductible, and out-of-pocket expenses. Knowing the rates and cost-sharing trends will help you recognize a good deal on a health insurance plan.

Understanding what you’re currently spending, setting a budget, and looking at current rates will help you find a plan that’s a good fit for your health and financial situation.

 

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Check Out The Health Insurance Marketplace By Requesting A Quote For Plans Available Within Your State At:          www.HI4E.Org

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Understanding the market rates, setting a reasonable budget, and using helpful websites like  www.HI4E.Org  and other comparison websites will make the search for an affordable health insurance plan simple. On comparison websites, you can view health plans offered by multiple companies, which saves you the hassle of looking a different companies separately.

These tools will help you find the plan that best fits your budget and health needs.

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* State specific differences may apply to each insurance carrier or benefits provider, and each entity is responsible for their own contractual and financial obligations. Insurance products offered through HI4E.Org, Health & Life Solutions, LLC, and Health Insurance 4 Everyone, are not available to residents of New York or Oregon.

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