Delay From State For CHIP

A delay for lots of Smith County kids who may have been dropped from a state children's insurance program. Recently CHIP (or Children's Health Insurance Program) went from a $15 to $25 annual premium to a $15 to $25 monthly premium.

Those who couldn't pay were going to be cut from the program starting August 15th.

But today, Governor Rick Perry ordered a delay that will keep people who can't afford that premium from being cut.

Local health district officials say, the number of Smith County kids using CHIP is declining from last year, which may be because of changes in the program people are not aware of.

"We've had a number of people drop off the CHIP rolls because of changes in the rules, changes in the eligibility, you could say barriers we the system have put in place that have resulted in less children being insured over the past year," says Nick Sciarrini, Director of the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

Right now, there are more than 3,500 kids using the CHIP in Smith County.

Reporting: Braid Sharp