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Workers hurt by health insurance woes

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Following a trend seen nationally, fewer workers in Illinois are insured than they were in the 1990s.

A study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that nationwide nearly one in five workers is uninsured, a statistically significant increase from fewer than one in seven during the mid-1990s.

In Illinois, the study found that 16 percent of workers between ages 19 to 64 were uninsured in 2007, the latest year such figures are available. In 1995, 11.6 percent of workers in Illinois were uninsured.

The study found that the problem is cost. Total premiums for employer plans have risen six to eight times faster than wages, depending on whether individual or family coverage is picked.

About 20.7 million workers were uninsured in the mid-1990s. A decade later, it was 26.9 million, an increase of about six million.

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