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CGFNS plan - Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: CGFNS Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools plan November 2023 by team

CGFNS Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools

Exam : CGFNS

Exam Name : Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools

Exam Type : MCQ

Questions : 260

Part1 Questions : 150

Part1 exam Time : 2 hrs 30 min.

Break : 1 hour

Part2 Questions : 110

Part2 exam Time : 1 hr 50 min.

The CGFNS Certification Program® is a three part program that consists of:

1. A credentials evaluation of secondary education, nursing education and licensure

2. The CGFNS Qualifying Exam®

3. Demonstration of passing one of the accepted English language proficiency examinations

It is a requirement for licensure by some State Boards of Nursing to take the NCLEX-RN® exam.

First-level, general nurses educated outside the United States who wish to practice nursing in the United States use this service. A first-level, general nurse (as defined historically by the International Council of Nurses) is also called a registered (RN) or a professional nurse in some countries.

Second-level nurses are not eligible to be licensed as registered nurses in the United States and therefore cannot be approved to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam®. A second-level nurse may be called an enrolled, vocational or practical nurse or a nurse assistant.

The CGFNS exam has both Nursing section. The CGFNS exam is a multiple choice and objective based paper. It is divided into two parts with a total of 260 questions. Candidates should submit anyone TOEFL, TOIEC or IELTS scores for an eligibility criterion.

Applicants are given 150 questions in the part 1 exam with a time limit of 2 hours and 30 minutes. You will get a 1 hour break for lunch after you are done with part 1 section. The part 2 section contains 110 questions with a time limit of 1 hours and 50 minutes.

The candidates must demonstrate English language proficiency and they should be able to get the passing scores for that. Any of the English proficiency exam has three parts, listening, and vocabulary and sentence structure.

It takes more than 4 hours for its completion. It is taken by experienced people and thus it covers various critical areas. Like maternal or infant nursing, child care and mental health subjects. Read on to know more information on CGFNS test.

The program is comprised of three parts: a credentials review, which includes an evaluation of the secondary and nursing education, registration and licensure; the CGFNS International Qualifying exam SM.

It tests nursing knowledge and is administered 3–4 times per year in over 50 locations worldwide (if applicant base warrants);and an English language proficiency examination.
Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
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Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
Question: 387
The micturition reflex center is located in the _____.
A. Pons
B. Midbrain
C. Lumbar plexus
D. Sacral plexus
Answer: D
Question: 388
Which of the following match with the definition: a poor output of urine?
A. Oliguria
B. Pyruia
C. Enuresis
D. Diuresis
Answer: A
Question: 389
Capillary loops located in the medulla are also known as _________.
A. Vasa recta
B. Urea collectors
C. Trigone
D. Macula densa
Answer: A
Question: 390
The primary function of the descending loop of Henle in the kidney is?
A. Reabsorption of sodium ions
B. Reabsoption of water by osmosis
C. Secretion of hydrogen ions
D. Secretion of potassium ions
Answer: B
Question: 391
Which of the following is not considered a part of the male urethra?
A. Prostatic
B. Membranous
C. Vasapore
D. Penile
Answer: C
Question: 392
When glucose if found in urine it is called _____.
A. Glucosuria
B. Uremia
C. Ureteritis
D. Glucose intolerance
Answer: A
Question: 393
Which of the following is not considered a component of kidney stones?
A. Calcium phosphate
B. Uric Acid
C. Calcium oxalate
D. HCO 3
Answer: D
Question: 394
The one of the functions occurring at the distal convoluted tubule in the kidney is?
A. Passive secretion of hydrogen ions
B. Passive secretion of potassium ions
C. Limited re-absorption of water
D. No re-absorption of sodium
Answer: B
Question: 395
ADH has which of the following effects on the distal convoluted tubule?
A. Decrease water re-absorption
B. Increase water re-absorption
C. Decrease the concentration of urine
D. Increase the urine volume
Answer: B
Question: 396
Which of the following is not associated with the role of the kidneys?
A. Release of erythropoietin (hormone)
B. Release of renin (enzyme)
C. Release of Vitamin E
D. Activate Vitamin D
Answer: C
Question: 397
Each kidney contains approximately ______ nephrons.
A. 10 million
B. 1 million
C. 100,000
D. 10,000
Answer: B
Question: 398
The release of Angiotension II
causes which of the following to occur?
A. Increased filtration rate
B. Decreased glomerular hydrostatic pressure
C. Increase synthesis of Vitamin E
D. Increased release of erythropoietin
Answer: A
Question: 399
Which of the following is an effect of a diuretic?
A. Decreased Cardiac Output
B. Increased fluid volume
C. Increased sodium re-absorption
D. Increased chloride ion re-absorption
Answer: A
Question: 400
Which of the following is not considered a loop diuretic?
A. Bumetadine (BUMEX)
B. Furosemide (LASIX)
C. Chlorthiazide (DIURIL)
D. Ethacrynic Acid (EDECRIN)
Answer: C
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Medical Commission plan - BingNews Search results Medical Commission plan - BingNews World Health Organization launches commission to combat loneliness, social isolation

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The World Health Organization on Thursday announced the launch of a three-year global initiative to combat loneliness as an urgent health issue, while creating a commission aimed at promoting social connectivity in communities around the world.

The Commission on Social Connection, co-chaired by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and comprised of nearly a dozen prominent advocates and policymakers from several nations, will analyze high-risk areas of social isolation worldwide, while fostering a sense of community and inclusiveness among those on the fringes of mainstream life, with the goal of improving overall health and wellbeing.

"I am thrilled to work closely with an outstanding group of commissioners on advancing social connection -- a vital component of well-being," Murthy said in a statement. "Together, we can build a world that is less lonely, healthier, and more resilient."

The commission will gather on Dec. 6-8 for its first meeting, while it plans to release a comprehensive report on global loneliness in summer 2025, at the halfway point of its mission.

In its work, the commission will attempt to shape global policy on social disconnection issues, while fostering awareness and partnerships to advance new mental health solutions for those experiencing loneliness.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new commission will help establish social connections as a major global health priority in an effort to mitigate concerns around loneliness and social connection. File Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/EPA-EFE

"The commission will consider how connection enhances the well-being of our communities and societies and helps foster economic progress, social development, and innovation," the WHO said in a statement announcing the international effort.

Social isolation, characterized by a lack of sufficient social connections, and loneliness, the emotional distress of feeling disconnected from others, both underscore the pervasive challenges confronting the commission as it attempts to tackle an escalating global concern.

The issues are often associated with older individuals in wealthy countries, but isolation and loneliness impact the health and wellbeing of people across all age groups, the WHO said.

The lack of social connection rivals or exceeds many well-known risk factors for early death, including smoking, excessive drinking, physical inactivity, obesity, and air pollution.

In May, Murthy issued an advisory on loneliness in the wake of the global pandemic, urging Americans to break free from the isolation of the years that followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and rediscover the "healing power" of relationships.

"Given the profound health and societal consequences of loneliness and isolation, we have an obligation to make the same investments in rebuilding the social fabric of society that we have made in addressing other global health concerns, such as tobacco use, obesity, and the addiction crisis," Murthy said.

Studies have continued to highlight a significant impact of loneliness on mental health, correlating with anxiety and depression and a 30% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research also finds that social isolation affects about 1 in 4 elderly individuals worldwide, while as many as 15% of young people experience loneliness across all regions, WHO said, adding that these figures were likely conservative estimates.

At the same time, social isolation has been shown to impact education outcomes, with high school students experiencing loneliness being more prone to drop out and go on to feel a general lack of support both at home and in the workplace, the WHO said.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new commission will help establish social connections as a major global health priority in an effort to mitigate these concerns.

"High rates of social isolation and loneliness around the world have serious consequences for health and wellbeing," Ghebreyesus said. "People without enough strong social connections are at higher risk of stroke, anxiety, dementia, depression, suicide and more."

Wed, 15 Nov 2023 23:24:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Loneliness as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day: WHO No result found, try new keyword!A new study by the University of Glasgow in Scotland found that not socializing with friends or family may increase the risk of dying early by 39%. Thu, 16 Nov 2023 11:28:26 -0600 en-us text/html Best affordable health insurance plans of 2023

Health insurance can be expensive, with most policies averaging nearly $1,000 per month. Even though it can use a good portion of your budget, health insurance is a valuable way to offset the cost of preventive care, expensive health conditions and catastrophic injuries. We compared the best health insurance companies and quotes to find the cheapest health insurance plans. We’ll also provide tips to help you shop for cheap medical insurance.

Why trust our insurance experts

Our team of insurance experts evaluates hundreds of insurance products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 129 health insurance companies analyzed.
  • 864 health insurance plan rates reviewed.
  • 5 levels of fact-checking.

Best affordable health insurance companies of 2023

Compare the best cheap health insurance companies

We analyzed the average rates of Bronze health insurance plans offered by the best health insurance companies across the nation. Those with the cheapest average cost made our rating of the best and most affordable insurance companies.

To first determine the best health insurance companies, we compared providers that sell individual health insurance plans. Each health insurance company was eligible for up to 100 points, based on its performance in the following key categories:

  • Cost (30 points). Health insurance companies with the lowest average monthly premium and deductible for Silver tier health insurance plans received the highest score.
  • Consumer complaints (25 points). Health insurance companies with the lowest levels of complaints received the highest score. We collected complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which shows the volume of health insurance consumer complaints against each company.
  • NCQA quality rating (25 points). Health insurance companies with the highest quality ratings received the highest score. We collected data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits health plans and produces ratings based on specific metrics.
  • Variety of health insurance plans (10 points). Health insurance companies with the greatest variety of health insurance plans (HMO, EPO, PPO) received the highest score.
  • Metal tier offerings (10 points). Health insurance companies with the most options of metal tier plans received the highest score.

How to get affordable health insurance

The best way to get the cheapest health insurance is through your workplace. Many employers offer group health insurance to their employees and families. Group health insurance is cheaper than getting individual health insurance, and most employers pay a portion of the health insurance premium, making your cost more affordable.

If you can’t get coverage through your workplace, the Health Insurance Marketplace may offer low-cost health insurance. There are usually several Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant health plans in your area, and the website can help you choose one.

You might be eligible for even cheaper health insurance through Marketplace subsidies if your household income is at or lower than 400% of the federal poverty level for your household size.

Medicaid may be another option if you have a low income. This health insurance program can offer you comprehensive health insurance coverage at little or no cost.

Another option is going directly to a health insurance company. Plans may not be ACA-compliant, however. It’s worth reviewing and comparing the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) for each plan to determine which will best fit your needs.

How much does health insurance cost?

Health insurance costs an average of $974 a month for a Bronze plan (the lowest level plan) on the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace, which is where you can buy a health insurance plan via The monthly average cost increases to $1,269 for a Silver plan, $1,383 for a Gold plan and $1,724 for a Platinum plan.

There are several factors that affect how much you’ll pay for health insurance, including:

  • Your age and the ages of your dependents.
  • The health insurance plan copays, deductibles, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums.
  • The health insurance coverage and metal tier you choose.
  • The health insurance company and plan you choose.
  • The type of health insurance policy (EPO, HMO, PPO, etc.) you buy.

The more the health insurance company covers, the more you’ll pay in health insurance premiums. If you choose a higher health insurance deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, you could save on your premium. Just be prepared to pay more out of pocket for your health care in exchange for that lower premium.

Average cost of health insurance by age 

Average monthly cost based on unsubsidized ACA plans. Source:

If you’re shopping for cheap health insurance, there are multiple things to consider, including the plan type, tax credits and coverage choices. We break down the most important factors to consider when comparing quotes to find cheap medical insurance.

Bronze Plans 

Of all the metal tiers, Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, though you’ll pay the most for your health care costs. With a typical Bronze plan, the insurance company pays 60% of covered expenses, while you pay 40%. Expect deductibles for Bronze plans to be thousands of dollars per year. 

This plan is best for someone who wants health insurance coverage for severe injuries or illnesses but can afford to pay for preventive and routine care out of pocket.

Silver Plans

Health insurance companies usually pay around 70% of health care costs on a Silver plan, while you pay 30%. This metal plan offers lower deductibles than Bronze plans but has a higher monthly premium costs. Still, Silver plan deductibles can still be in the thousands. 

“If you qualify for a subsidy and reduced cost-sharing, Silver plans may be the most affordable option for you,” said Evan Tunis, president of Florida Healthcare Insurance. 

If you don’t qualify for a subsidy but are willing to pay a slightly higher premium to cover more routine care, consider a Silver plan.

Gold Plans

A Gold plan might be worth the cost if you go to the doctor regularly or have high health care costs. Although it has higher premiums than Bronze and Silver plans, your deductible is lower and the insurance company pays about 80% of your cost of care.

Platinum Plans 

The metal tier plan with the highest cost is the Platinum plan, but it comes with the lowest deductible. Nearly all your health care costs will be covered, as the health insurance company generally pays around 90% of your covered expenses. 

Tax credits for affordable health insurance 

Some people qualify for a premium tax credit, which can unlock cheap medical insurance. When you apply for health insurance on the health exchange, you’ll enter your estimated income on the application. You could receive a tax credit depending on your income and household size. You can find out if your estimated income qualifies for a subsidy on the Marketplace website.

“If your income or household makeup changes during the year, you’ll want to update your application to see if it affects your credit,” said Tunis. 

Gaining a household member or losing an income could increase your credit. Losing a household member or increasing your income could lower it. Taking more of a tax credit than you’re eligible for could mean you have to pay some of it back when filing your federal tax return.

HSA vs. FSA 

HSAs and FSAs are two tax-advantaged savings vehicles you can use to pay for health care expenses. 

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is available if you buy a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a minimum deductible of $1,500 for an individual or $3,000 for a family plan.

If you’re considering an HSA, check to see if the Marketplace plan has an “HSA eligible” label.

You can make pre-tax contributions and use the funds to pay for qualified medical expenses and costs to meet your deductible. 

The HSA will also accrue interest, and the balance rolls over yearly. You can keep the HSA no matter your employment status and it acts like a retirement account once you turn 65. If you withdraw funds before 65 for non-medical purposes, they will be taxable.

A Flexible Savings Account (FSA) is an employee benefit some employers offer on employer-sponsored group health insurance plans. A predetermined amount of money is set aside pre-tax, which can be used for health care expenses and eligible dependent care.

Out-of-network coverage 

Going “out of network” means seeing a health provider not contracted with your health insurance company or plan. If you go out of network to see a doctor, you’ll usually pay a higher coinsurance amount — the percentage you pay for covered services after you’ve met your deductible — than you would to see an in-network doctor. 

“Knowing your out-of-network coverage can help you save money in the long run, especially for those who travel frequently or live near a state border,” said Tunis. 

Out-of-network coverage can vary depending on the type of health insurance plan you buy. For example, if you have a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, your insurance might not cover out-of-network care unless it’s an emergency. 

If you like your doctor or specialist and want to keep going to them, make sure they’re in network for the health insurance plan you’re considering. 

Out-of-pocket maximum 

Your out-of-pocket maximum is the most you’ll pay toward covered health care for your plan year. Once you’ve paid your deductibles, coinsurance and copayments and have met your annual out-of-pocket limit, your plan will pay 100% for covered expenses.

The following expenses do not go towards your out-of-pocket maximum:

  • Health insurance premiums.
  • Out-of-network expenses.
  • Costs your provider charges above the allowed amount.
  • Cost of services not covered. 

The 2023 out-of-pocket limit varies for Marketplace plans but cannot exceed $9,100 for individuals and $18,200 for family coverage.

How to find the best affordable health insurance for your needs

Comparing health insurance quotes can be overwhelming, but these tips can help you find the best cheap health insurance plan for you.

  • Consider your health care needs. If you don’t anticipate going to the doctor much, you could save by choosing an HDHP. But a Gold or Platinum plan may be worth it if you have chronic health conditions or expect to see the doctor regularly.
  • Which plan type is best? An exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan only covers in-network care. A health management organization (HMO) plan will cover out-of-network care, but only for urgent or emergency care. A preferred provider organization (PPO) plan will cover out-of-network care without a referral for an additional cost.
  • Check for pharmacy benefits. A formulary, or drug list, is a list of prescription drugs your insurance will cover and what category and cost a particular drug falls under. Todd Ackerman, president of World Insurance Associates, advises considering, “With prescription drug costs rising like they are, what are your prescription costs, and where do your prescriptions fall in the formulary on the plan you’re moving to?” 
  • Ask your healthcare providers what insurance plans they accept. Before you buy a health plan, call your doctor to make sure they take the specific plan. The health insurance company’s online directory could be out-of-date or not accurate.
  • Verify the health plan cost. The cost isn’t just the premium. You should also consider the coinsurance, copay, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Are there other options? You might be able to get health insurance through your employer or get added to your spouse’s or parent’s plan. These options may be cheaper than getting an individual health insurance plan.

Best and most affordable health insurance FAQs

Kaiser Permanente has the best cheap health insurance, according to our analysis. But it is only available to members in eight states and Washington, D.C. The next best options are Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, which offer health insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The cheapest health insurance for you may vary because the age of all household members and income factor into health insurance costs. Bronze and catastrophic plans offer the least coverage but have cheaper rates. Choosing a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can also make health insurance more affordable.

The least expensive way to get the best health insurance depends on your income level.

  • If you qualify for Medicaid or Marketplace subsidies, you could pay little to no cost for health insurance. 
  • If you don’t, a catastrophic or high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can be less expensive than other Marketplace plans. 

The more health care costs an insurer pays, the more you’ll pay in health insurance premiums.

Medicaid is a government-based health insurance program for low-income people and is usually the least expensive. With a low income, you may not have any premium costs with Medicaid and minimal cost-sharing. 

Qualifying for a subsidy through the Health Insurance Marketplace can lower your health insurance premium and cost-sharing, sometimes down to $0. 

Short-term health insurance plans, employer-based health insurance or catastrophic plans may be the cheapest options if you don’t qualify for Medicaid or subsidies.

Sun, 12 Nov 2023 19:22:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Judge orders massive mediation session to try and resolve multiple Ala. Cannabis Commission lawsuits No result found, try new keyword!The judge overseeing multiple lawsuits against the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) surrounding the commissions’ two failed attempts to issue licenses has ordered all plaintiffs and the ... Thu, 16 Nov 2023 08:44:25 -0600 en-us text/html City Council votes to establish commission on LGBTQ older adults

The New York City Council on Nov. 15 passed a bill to establish a commission within the Department of Aging to study and make recommendations to meet the needs of LGBTQ older people living in NYC. 

The bill, Int. 564, was spearheaded by LGBTQIA+ Caucus Co-Chairs Councilmembers Tiffany Cabán and Crystal Hudson, though Cabán is the lead sponsor. It’s one of several policies proposed in The Marsha & Sylvia Plan, which the Caucus released in June.  

Int. 564 states the commission would “analyze and study the health, housing, financial, psychosocial, home-and-community-based services, assisted living and long-term care needs of LGBTQIA+ older adults and their caregivers.”

Every city lawmaker who voted on the bill approved it, though five councilmembers were absent — including LGBTQIA+ Caucus member Erik Bottcher of Manhattan. Another member of the LGBTQIA+ Caucus, Kristin Richardson Jordan of Manhattan, missed the vote due to medical reasons.

The Marsha & Sylvia Plan highlights the need to build more housing for LGBTQ elders, provide free sexual health and wellness programming, and conduct outreach to HIV-affected older people. It also notes that New York City’s older adult population is projected to increase 41% by 2040. 

LGBTQ older people living in New York face challenges, including disproportionate rates of poverty and discrimination, and loneliness, an AARP study found. According to a 2018 survey, three out of four LGBTQ people 45 and older “were concerned about having enough support from family and friends as they age.” 

The commission will consist of a range of members, including representatives from an NYC-based organization that advocates for LGBTQ older people; a healthcare organization serving LGBTQ people; a trans-led advocacy organization; a labor organization; and an organization serving people with disabilities. There will also be three people from organizations serving Black, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Indigenous or Latinx LGBTQ people.

In a speech on the Council floor prior to her bill’s passage, Cabán said it was vital for New York City to treat LGBTQ elders with dignity. 

Sadly too many of the people from the Stonewall generation are no longer with us,” she said. “To honor them, the movement for queer liberation must support our elders before they become our ancestors.”

Cabán continued, “Queer elders deserve to live and grow old in dignity with comfort, with joy, with family, and with love — but with something else as well, stewardship of our culture — and we deserve to be in rich community with our elders so that they are able to pass along their stories and teachings to build a society where we are all free to be who we are.” 

Hudson, who chairs the City Council’s Committee on Aging, said in a statement that “establishing a group where experts can identify the challenges facing our queer elders, voice their concerns, and put forth meaningful solutions to meet these material needs is a vital step toward closing the gap in services and resources offered to queer folks across the five boroughs.” 

SAGE, the world’s largest organization serving LGBTQ older adults and  New Yorkers living with HIV, celebrated the bill’s passage. 

“Our City’s LGBTQ+ elders and older New Yorkers living with HIV have always been at the forefront of the movement for LGBTQ+ equality and justice,” said Darcy Connors, the executive director of SAGEServes, in a statement. “The establishment of a commission dedicated to addressing the unique needs of this community will help ensure that these history-makers have equitable access to the services they need to age with dignity and respect.” 

The bill now heads to Mayor Eric Adams’ desk for signing. 

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 07:42:00 -0600 Dashiell Allen en-US text/html
More Georgia locations to offer medical cannabis after state commission awards more licenses to producers

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission on Wednesday unanimously granted provisional licenses to four more companies to produce low-THC oil to help Georgians with a list of severe ailments.

The licenses will go to Fine Fettle GA, TheraTrue, Nature’s GA and Treevana Wellness. The companies will have access to Class 2 licenses, allowing them to grow cannabis in 50,000 square feet of indoor facilities only for producing low-THC oil.

The state previously granted licenses to two companies, Trulieve and Botanical Sciences, for Class 1 licenses, allowing for twice as much cultivation space. By law, the products can only contain a very small amount of THC, the chemical that gets marijuana users high.

The new licenses come as years-long court challenges over the selection process continue, said Commission Chair Sid Johnson.

“The accurate resolution of several court cases including rulings by the court of appeals has enabled us, the commission, to move forward with today’s actions,” he said. “Out of respect for the judicial process that is still going on, we have chosen to make provisional contract awards.”

Johnson said the commission has the authority to make provisional awards at its discretion, noting that none of the applicants challenged that authority through the contentious process.

“The issuance of these provisional contract awards for class two productions licensure is not only consistent with the terms of the (request for proposal) and the purpose of the Hope Act, it is necessary,” he said. “We look forward to working with our Class 2 production licensees and building strong partnerships with them as we have done with our Class 1 production licensees.”

In a statement, Fine Fettle CEO Jeremy Fort said his company plans to harvest its first plants from its Macon-area facility by March and open up shop in Athens, Decatur, Evans, Macon, Peachtree Corners and Smyrna by the spring.

“We’re ready to serve the needs of patients across Georgia who’ll experience a higher quality of life because this medication is available to them,” he said. “We’re committed to the people of this state, and that’s why we moved ahead with building a best-in-its-class facility in Macon, where the community and its leaders have welcomed us.”

Since the state first approved licenses this spring, dispensaries have opened up in or near major metro areas: Atlanta, Marietta, Newnan, Stockbridge, Macon, Evans and Savannah. In addition, Georgia is set to be the first state to allow patients to buy low-THC products at pharmacies.

Whether from a dispensary or a pharmacy, patients must be approved by a doctor to get the products. Right now there are just over 13,400 patients on the list. Post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer patients make up more than 70% of those on the list, according to the state Department of Public Health, with peripheral neuropathy, seizure disorder and multiple sclerosis the next most common diagnoses.

Georgia passed its initial medical marijuana bill in 2015, but it took years of continued legislative action and lawsuits to actually get the medicine in their hands, and for some, the rollout was not as smooth as expected.

In brief remarks after the vote, Commission Executive Director Andrew Turnage thanked patients for their endurance.

“I want to say thank you to the patients,” he said. “They have been the spearhead for this from day one. Everything that this commission has done is for you, the patients. And I just want to say, for all the sacrifices and dangers and losses that patients have endured to get through this process, we really appreciate that. Everything that has happened at this commission has been focused on access for patients. And there’s more, there’s more battles to come. There are more challenges to face. But together, we’ve arrived at this day, and it started with the very hard work of the patients.”

This story was provided by WABE content partner Georgia Recorder.

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 05:56:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Best health insurance companies of November 2023

Updated 12:35 p.m. UTC Nov. 16, 2023

Kaiser Permanente is the best health insurance company, according to our analysis. 

We evaluated health insurance companies based on cost, coverage options, NCQA quality rating and consumer complaints. Use this rating as a starting point to compare providers and find the best health insurance for your situation.

The best health insurance companies of 2023

Why trust our insurance experts

Our team of insurance experts evaluates hundreds of insurance products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 129 health insurance companies analyzed.
  • 864 health insurance plan rates reviewed.
  • 5 levels of fact-checking.

Top-rated health insurance companies

Compare the best health insurance companies of 2023

We analyzed insurers that sell individual health insurance plans to determine the best health insurance companies. Each health insurance company was eligible for up to 100 points, based on its performance in the following key categories:

  • Cost (30 points). Health insurance companies with the lowest average premiums and deductible for Silver tier health insurance plans received the highest score.
  • Consumer complaints (25 points). Health insurance companies with the lowest levels of complaints received the highest score. We collected complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which shows the volume of health insurance consumer complaints against each company.
  • NCQA quality rating (25 points). Health insurance companies with the highest quality ratings received the highest score. We collected data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits health plans and produces ratings based on specific metrics.
  • Variety of health insurance plans (10 points). Health insurance companies with the greatest variety of health insurance plans (HMO, EPO, PPO) received the highest score.
  • Metal tier offerings (10 points). Health insurance companies with the most options of metal tier plans received the highest score.

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a contract between a health insurance company and the policyholder. The insurance company agrees to pay for covered medical expenses in exchange for the policyholder’s premium payments.

“Health insurance is designed to help individuals manage costs associated with medical care,” said Ryan Bullock, chief operating officer of Aeroflow Healthcare, a durable medical equipment provider. 

You’re more likely to use a service when you pay for it. If you’re uninsured, you may decide not to go to the doctor, even if you have a health concern, due to the high out-of-pocket costs. Health insurance “serves as a safeguard against the high costs of medical treatments, consultations, prescriptions, and hospital stays,” said Tarek El Ali, founder of Smart Insurance Agents health insurance agency.

What does health insurance cover?

All Health Insurance Marketplace, or Marketplace, health insurance plans that are compliant with the the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must cover these 10 essential benefits:

  • Ambulatory patient services for outpatient care.
  • Chronic disease management, preventive and wellness services.
  • Emergency services.
  • Hospitalization, including surgery and overnight stays.
  • Laboratory services.
  • Mental health, behavioral health and substance use disorder services.
  • Pediatric services, including dental and vision care.
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care, including birth control and breastfeeding coverage.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative devices and services.

Specific services within these categories can vary depending on your state’s requirements. Plans can also provide adult dental or vision coverage and medical management programs, such as those that assist plan members with back pain, diabetes and weight management.

Plan benefits can also vary by insurance company. It’s important to read the fine print to determine what each health insurance plan covers and excludes.

Does health insurance cover dental? 

If you’re getting health coverage for someone 18 or younger, dental coverage is an essential benefit under ACA-compliant health insurance plans. That means it must be available as part of a health plan or as a separate dental plan. Adult dental care is not an essential benefit, however, so your health insurance may not cover dental, depending on your plan. 

Some plans include dental, meaning the premium covers both health care and dental. But if your plan doesn’t cover dental, you might be able to buy dental insurance separately through the Marketplace. If you do, you’ll have a premium for your health insurance plan and another for your dental plan.

You can choose between two categories of dental insurance through the Marketplace: low and high. A low coverage plan will have high copays and deductibles but cheaper premiums. A high coverage plan will have lower copays and deductibles but more expensive premiums.

What does health insurance not cover?

Although health insurance plans can vary, according to Shashank Agarwal, senior decision scientist for CVS Health, health insurance may not cover:

  • Experimental treatments.
  • Cosmetic or elective procedures.
  • Non-essential medications or drugs that aren’t FDA-approved.
  • Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.
  • Out-of-network care.
  • Dental or vision care, if not part of your health plan.
  • Medical care outside of the U.S.

Your health plan might also exclude coverage for fertility treatments, brand-new technologies or off-label drug use. “There may also be limitations or exclusions relating to pre-existing conditions, dental care, vision care and long-term care,” said Bullock.

While most health insurance plans cover rehabilitative care, they might not cover developmental services, warns Adam Rosenfeld, president of Rubicon Benefits, a division of World Insurance. Although your physical therapy following knee surgery would be covered, speech therapy for your child born with developmental delays may not, he explains.

Just like plan benefits can vary by coverage level and insurance company, so can policy exclusions. Comparing plan benefit details, especially what’s excluded from coverage, can help you determine which plan is best for your health care needs.

Cost of health insurance in 2023

The tables below show examples of health insurance costs for Bronze, Silver and Gold plans from the best health insurance companies in our analysis.

Bronze plans: Health insurance monthly cost examples

Silver plans: Health insurance monthly cost examples

Gold plans: Health insurance monthly cost examples

On a tight budget? How to save money on health insurance

How to find the best health insurance for your needs

There are several steps you can take to find the best medical insurance for your needs:

  • Assess your health care needs, such as “the frequency of doctor visits, medications, and any specific medical conditions you or your family members have,” said El Ali.
  • Evaluate available plans in your area. EPOs, HMOs, PPOs work differently. An HMO may be cheaper, but you’ll have more coverage restrictions. A PPO comes at a higher cost, but you can go out of network for care. Understanding the different plan types and the pros and cons of each can help you find what suits you best.
  • Compare health insurance plans. Each plan can have varying benefits, deductibles, copayments, out-of-pocket costs and premiums. Pay close attention to what a plan doesn’t cover to ensure it will meet your needs. Marketplace plans provide a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) to make comparing plans easier.
  • Verify network coverage. “If you have preferred doctors or health care facilities, make sure they are in the network of the plan you’re considering,” said Agarwal. Otherwise, you could face expensive out-of-network costs or have to choose a new doctor.
  • Check for prescription coverage. If you take prescription medications, make sure the plan covers them and what your out-of-pocket cost would be. You might have to call the insurance company to determine costs.
  • Look for extra benefits, like telehealth services, a 24/7 nurse line or discounts on wellness programs.
  • Check for financial assistance eligibility. You might be eligible for financial assistance or premium subsidies if you purchase health insurance through the Marketplace.
  • Ask for reviews and recommendations. Have a discussion with coworkers, friends and family members to learn about their insurance company and plan experiences. 

Best health insurance FAQs

The Health Insurance Marketplace’s open enrollment period runs from November 1 through December 15 each year. You can enroll in a new plan or change your current one during open enrollment. Health insurance coverage begins on January 1, when your first health insurance premium payment is due. If you don’t need your health insurance coverage to start until February 1, you can enroll until January 15. 

There are multiple reasons why health insurance is so expensive, said Shashank Agarwal, senior decision scientist for CVS Health. Administrative and medical care costs, prescription drug prices, lifestyle factors, an aging population, mandates and regulations, risk pool dynamics and complex billing and pricing impact how much each person pays for health insurance.

“Drugs used to account for less than 10% of overall health care plan costs, and now it’s over 25%,” said Adam Rosenfeld, president of Rubicon Benefits, a division of World Insurance. A lack of tort reform laws and the ability to revise, renew and extend patents to keep drug prices up also factor into higher health insurance costs.

Find a plan that suits your budgetBest cheap health insurance

There are no federal laws that require health insurance, but California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington, D.C. require residents to declare proof of health insurance coverage on state taxes.

Even if you don’t live in a state that requires proof of medical insurance coverage, most Americans should consider health insurance if they can’t afford to pay for health care out of pocket. Having health insurance can help you pay for preventative care, which can keep you happier and healthier longer. 

Comparing the cost of health insurance plans and your out-of-pocket expenses to paying for care on your own can help determine if you need health insurance.

Sun, 12 Nov 2023 19:16:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Health Ministry: Ukraine to move forward with medical system reforms in 2024

Ukraine is preparing to undertake reforms to the national medical system in 2024 to better align with European standards, the Ministry of Health announced on Nov. 15.

"We continue to work to ensure that our medical system meets EU standards," Deputy Minister of Health Maryna Slobodnichenko stated.

The planned reforms come in response to the European Commission's recommendation to initiate formal negotiations regarding Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

Among its plans for reform, Ukraine's Ministry of Health wants to Improve health information systems, approve a national action plan to overcome biological, chemical, and environmental threats, and commence implementation of a national action plan on antibiotic resistance.

As a precursor to accession negotiations, the Health Ministry noted some previous progress on health care reforms, including the ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as well as the implementation of an epidemiological surveillance system in line with EU principles.

In accurate days, the Health Ministry announced the formation of an Advisory Council to help create the Ukrainian Medical Agency, an independent body responsible for registering and monitoring the market for medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, and dietary supplements.

The Health Ministry notes that work in each of these areas continues as the country makes progress in implementing all seven recommendations in the European Commission's report.

Read also: Ukraine war latest: Russia admits Ukrainian troops operate on Dnipro River’s occupied east bank

We’ve been working hard to bring you independent, locally-sourced news from Ukraine. Consider supporting the Kyiv Independent.

Wed, 15 Nov 2023 13:59:00 -0600 en-US text/html
South Side affordable housing development, part of INVEST South/West program, greenlighted by Chicago Plan Commission No result found, try new keyword!The plan calls for a six-story building, known as Thrive Exchange, at the southwest corner of 79th Street and Exchange Avenue ... Thu, 16 Nov 2023 09:25:00 -0600 en-us text/html Planning Commission shows disdain for residents Facebooktwittermail

To the editor: 

As a child, I loved the myths and fairy tales that are part of youth. But, as an adult, I prefer data-based realities, especially when it comes to public policy decisions that affect us all. As former Rep. Barney Frank often said, “You are free to have your own opinions, but not your own facts.” 

After listening to five-and-a-half hours of testimony before the Planning Commission on November 1, I was struck by the lack of reality and the complete disdain the Commissioners had for the citizenry. 

There were 52 people who testified – roughly half were for the 132-page, staff-driven report and half were not. The dissenters were invisible to the chair and to his colleagues. And, at times, Planning Commission Chair Nate Macek even ignored relevant and critical questions from his own members, as he and his colleagues steamrollered ahead. 

How can you make decisions without answering these critical inquiries from your own board, much less not provide any recognition to those generated by the in-person and Zoom audiences? 

Half of the attendees pleaded with the Commission to delay this vote until the outstanding questions were resolved. But Commissioners refused to even delay it by one week. City Council should NOT vote reflexively on November 28 on a plan with more holes than Swiss Cheese. 

Council must demand factual answers, not myths or fairy tales. Ironically, one of the commissioners who attended via Zoom for the entire five-and-a-half hours, did so without a single comment. How odd is that for a crucial debate? Why did she join a voluntary, unpaid Commission, if she had nothing to say? 

A foretaste of the outcome of the Nov. 1 hearing was provided by Commissioner Stephen Koenig on October 23 when he spoke to a standing-room only session of Agenda Alexandria. He unabashedly declared he had “no intention” of memorizing the entire 132-page staff document, “line by line.” And Koenig said he had “no qualms” about voting for it in its entirety, without memorizing it. 

Why did Council willingly appoint people who appear to have no time or interest to participate in the process? None of the seven should be assumed to be representing all citizens, in a neutral, thoughtful, questioning manner. They were more like lobbyists for the staff. 

That attitude was enforced by the fact that the city disclosed it had spent $100,000, working against the residents, with billboard signs throughout the West End that they were “creating” a whole new part of town – with a bullying tone of intrusion and not inclusion. 

At no point in the hearing was there any disclosure about what individual(s) are spearheading this perceived false urgency to rush this through. Nor was it disclosed who had pushed this crisis mentality. Does the Council of Governments run Alexandria, and are the taxpayers merely an invisible component? 

Amazing throughout the hearing was the lack of any transparent support for the presumed goal: affordable housing. The most enthusiastic of the 26 supporters for erasing Single Family Zoning had no realistic ideas on how this goal would be accomplished. By knocking down houses? There is a myth that many “new” units will arise from the ashes, like the Phoenix. 

“Housing for All” is like the concept of “Healthcare for All,” and the goal of “May your children be smart and good-looking.” But these are aspirational goals, not stable and substantive ones and proponents have no clue what it will cost and who will pay for it. 

Similarly, some supporters of upending regulations on zoning, density and height restrictions, repeatedly voiced the “wish” to create a “Walkable City” in Alexandria, where everyone would ban cars and walk or bicycle or scooter to their distant destination. This may be possible in parts of Old Town or in segments of Del Ray, but not in a city that already has the highest density in the state. The city plan presumes everyone is in excellent health and can walk miles. It ignores the fact that many people do not have public transit access to work, school, child care, grocery shopping and daily destinations. 

Because members of the Planning Commission are appointed, they do not have to be held accountable to the public for their votes. But incumbent members of the City Council must stand before voters in 2024 elections and justify these appointments – and their own votes on this issue. 

City Council members and city staff need to make time for a thoughtful review and perspective, which was totally lacking by the Planning Commission on November 1. 

-Kathleen Burns, Alexandria 

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 09:45:00 -0600 en-US text/html

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