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Utilization of long-term care services under the public long-term care insurance program in Korea: Implications of a subsidy policy

Utilization of long-term care services under the public long-term care insurance program in Korea: Implications of a subsidy policy

Health Policy 111(2): 166-174

South Korea introduced public long-term care insurance (LTCI) in 2008. This study examined the patterns of and factors associated with public long-term care (LTC) utilization among older LTCI beneficiaries in Korea, with special attention to the policy for subsidizing the co-payments of lower income populations. Using a 5% national representative sample of 280,290 older people aged 65 or older obtained from the 2010 national LTCI claims database, we examined socio-demographic and health factors associated with service utilization decisions, service type chosen, and the intensity of service use. About 5.48% of older adults in 2010 utilized the LTC provided under the Korean public LTCI, among which about 26.1% received a subsidy. Compared to their counterparts, the subsidized users were more likely to be low-income, female, and living alone. They were more likely to choose institutionalized care and spend to their monthly benefit limit while paying a lower co-payment. The factors associated with pattern and intensity of LTC utilization were not the same between subsidized and non-subsidized users. The findings imply the subsidy policy promotes equity of access to public LTC services. Further evaluation is necessary on the impact of the policy on the effectiveness of LTC utilization by socially marginalized populations.

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Accession: 056824715

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23706386

DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.04.009

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