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Health care utilization and costs among medical-aid enrollees, the poor not enrolled in medical-aid, and the near poor in South Korea

 Jae Woo Choi  ;  Eun-Cheol Park  ;  Sung-Youn Chun  ;  Kyu-Tae Han  ;  Euna Han  ;  Tae Hyun Kim 
 International Journal for Equity in Health, Vol.14(1) : 128, 2015 
Journal Title
 International Journal for Equity in Health 
Issue Date
Adult ; Cross-Sectional Studies ; Delivery of Health Care/economics ; Delivery of Health Care/utilization* ; Female ; Health Care Costs/statistics & numerical data* ; Humans ; Male ; Medical Assistance/utilization* ; Middle Aged ; Poverty/statistics & numerical data* ; Republic of Korea/epidemiology
Health care utilization ; Medical cost ; Economically vulnerable groups
BACKGROUND: Although government has implemented medical-aid policy that provides assistance to the poor with almost free medical services, there are low-income people who do not receive necessary medical services in Korea. The aim of this study is to highlight the characteristics of Medical-Aid enrollees, the poor not enrolled in Medical-Aid, and the near poor and their utilization and costs for health care. METHODS: This study draws on the 2012 Korea Welfare Panel Study (KOWEPS), a nationally representative dataset. We divided people with income less than 120% of the minimum cost of living (MCL) into three groups (n = 2,784): the poor enrolled in Medical-Aid, the poor not enrolled in Medical-Aid (at or below 100% of MCL), and the near poor (100-120% of MCL). Using a cross-sectional design, this study provides an overview of health care utilization and costs of these three groups. RESULTS: The findings of the study suggest that significantly lower health care utilization was observed for the poor not enrolled in Medical-Aid compared to those enrolled in Medical-Aid. On the other hand, two groups (the poor not enrolled in Medical-Aid, the near poor) had higher health care costs, percentage of medical expenses to income compared to Medical-Aid. CONCLUSION: Given the particularly low rate of the population enrolled in Medical-Aid, similarly economically vulnerable groups are more likely to face barriers to needed health services. Meeting the health needs of these groups is an important consideration.
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4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Tae Hyun(김태현) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1053-8958
Park, Eun-Cheol(박은철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
Choi, Jae Woo(최재우)
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