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The effect of shifting medical coverage from National Health Insurance to Medical Aid type I and type II on health care utilization and out-of-pocket spending in South Korea

 Doo Woong Lee  ;  Jieun Jang  ;  Dong-Woo Choi  ;  Sung-In Jang  ;  Eun-Cheol Park 
 BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH, Vol.20(1) : 979, 2020-12 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Difference-in-differences ; Health care utilization ; Medical aid ; National Health Insurance ; Out-of-pocket medical spending ; Propensity score ; South Korea
Background: This study examines the effects of a shift in medical coverage, from National Health Insurance (NHI) to Medical Aid (MA), on health care utilization (measured by the number of outpatient visits and length of stay; LOS) and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Methods: Data were collected from the Korean Welfare Panel Study (2010-2016). A total of 888 MA Type I beneficiaries and 221 MA Type II beneficiaries who shifted from the NHI were included as the case group and 2664 and 663 consecutive NHI holders (1:3 propensity score-matched) were included as the control group, respectively. We used the 'difference-in-differences' (DiD) analysis approach to assess changes in health care utilization and medical spending by the group members. Results: Differential average changes in outpatient visits in the MA Type I panel between the pre- and post-shift periods were significant, but differential changes in LOS were not found. Those who shifted from NHI to MA Type I had increased number of outpatient visits without changes in out-of-pocket spending, compared to consecutive NHI holder who had similar characteristics. However, this was not found for MA Type II beneficiaries. Conclusion: Our research provides evidence that the shift in medical coverage from NHI to MA Type I increased the number of outpatient visits without increasing the out-of-pocket spending. Considering the problem of excess medical utilization by Korean MA Type I beneficiaries, further researches are required to have in-depth discussions on the appropriateness of the current cost-sharing level on MA beneficiaries.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Eun-Cheol(박은철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2306-5398
Jang, Sung In(장성인) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0760-2878
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