J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2015 Sep;39(3):161-167. 10.11149/jkaoh.2015.39.3.161.

The effect of economic factors on private health insurance enrollment and dental care utilization

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Social and Humanity in Dentistry, Wonkwang University School of Dentistry, Iksan, Korea. shinhosung@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to examine and derive policy implications from the contribution of private health insurance towards the effectiveness and equity of dental care utilization.
METHODS
The study used 2010-2011 Korea Health Panel data. We applied a two-stage probit least square (2SPLS) analysis method to 10,577 people who were aged 20 years and over and had out-patient health care utilization. Under the assumption that high demanders for dental outpatient health services try to subscribe and hold private health insurance, the study focuses on the changes in income and private health insurance status.
RESULTS
The results of the descriptive statistics indicated that the number of employed enrolled in private health insurance increased as age decreased and income increased. Two-year consecutive non-enrollment of private health insurance was highest in the groups aged 65 years or above, those that had completed primary school or below, and those that belonged to the top income bracket. The highest rates of continued enrollment in private health insurance were observed in the top fifth income group (highest quintile) and those with a college degree. Income was observed to have an effect on private health insurance enrollment status and the frequency of dental care services used. The results of the analysis indicated that changes in private health insurance status did not affect the frequency of dental care services used, but the frequency of dental care services used had a significantly positive effect on continued enrollment in private health insurance.
CONCLUSIONS
To secure the right of health for citizens, it is necessary to establish measures that emphasize equity and strengthen benefit coverage of health insurance. Moreover, regulatory policies that support the low-income population are required.

Keyword

Delivery of health care; Dental care utilization; Private health insurance; Simultaneity
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