When Teens Are Stuck in the Middle With No Health Insurance

Annie and Doug Schulte each have health insurance through their jobs. She works for a tiny nonprofit, and he is a truck driver.

But neither of their employers offers coverage for children. As a result, their son, A.J., 16, is uninsured. That's a constant worry for his parents. "You always have this fear he'll get into a car accident,'' says Annie, 36, of Foley, Mo.

The Schultes make too much money for A.J. to qualify for coverage through Medicaid or the state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). And private insurance for their son is too expensive, with insurers setting a high sticker price because of his allergies and asthma.

A.J. is one of more than 7 million U.S. children who have no health insurance. The good news is that number has dropped to its lowest level in 20 years, Census figures show. The decrease comes largely from government programs Medicaid and CHIP picking up more children as private insurance erodes among parents.