Association between changes in economic activity and catastrophic health expenditure: Findings from the Korea Health Panel Survey, 2014-2016

Hyeon Ji Lee, Doo Woong Lee, Dong Woo Choi, Sarah Soyeon Oh, Junhyun Kwon, Eun Cheol Park

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The rate of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) continues to rise in South Korea. This study examined the association between changes in economic activity and CHE experiences in South Korea. Methods: This study analyzed the Korea Health Panel Survey data using a logistic regression analysis to study the association between changes in economic activity in 2014-2015 and the participants' CHE experiences in 2015. The study included a total of 12,454 individuals over the age of 19. The subgroup analyses were organized by sex, age, health-related variables, and household level variables, and the reasons for leaving economic activity. Results: Those who quit economic activities were more likely to experience CHE than those who continued to engage in economic activities (OR [odds ratio] = 2.10; 95% CI [confidence interval]: 1.31-3.36). The subgroup analysis results, according to health-related variables, showed that there is a tendency to a higher Charlson comorbidity index, a higher OR, and, in groups that quit their economic activities, people with disabilities were more likely to experience CHE than people without disabilities (OR = 5.63; 95% CI 1.71-18.59, OR = 1.82; 95% CI 1.08-3.08, respectively). Another subgroup analysis found that if the reason for not participating in economic activity was a health-related issue, the participant was more likely to experience CHE (active → inactive: OR = 2.40; 95% CI 0.61-9.43, inactive → inactive OR = 1.65; 95% CI 1.01-2.68). Conclusions: Those individuals who became unemployed were more likely to experience CHE, especially if health problems precipitated the job loss. Therefore, efforts are needed to expand coverage for those people who suffer from high medical expenses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 16

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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