It looks like only two insurers will be providing health insurance coverage through the federal exchange in Mississippi next year. Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says companies have until next Tuesday to be approved to write policies in the state. United Healthcare will stop providing insurance through the federal exchange December 31st, but coverage will still be available in every county. Chaney tells MPB's Desare Frazier a company he can't name applied to be on the exchange in the state, but he doesn't think it will be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
As Mississippians recover from recent flooding, concerns about possible health risks are increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, floodwaters and their remnants can be havens for water-borne diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis. And pests like mosquitoes can also be a problem. The recent spread of Zika in Central and South America and the constant threat of the West Nile Virus have some worried flooding will cause an explosion of mosquito-borne illnesses. Mississippi State Entomologist Jerome Goddard tells MPB's Paul Boger those particular threats may be overblown.
It's time once again for the state's Literary Lawn Party. The second Mississippi Book Festival is this Saturday at the State Capital in Jackson. Lovers of fiction, history, children's books and more are invited to sit in on panel discussions, meet famous authors and indulge in literature. We spoke with Holly Lange -- executive director of the Mississippi Book Festival. She tells us last year's Festival -- the first -- was bigger than anyone dreamed it would be.
Julia Reed has written about politics and political culture -- and about the finer things in life as well. The Greenville native has been an ambassador for the Southern way of life since she moved north to work in magazines and publishing. In her new book -- Julia Reed's South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long -- Reed shares some of the tips and tricks she has learned over the years for throwing a spirited get-together. She tells us one particular New York City party put her in a position to champion the Southern way of entertaining.