Objectives: To identify the effects of supplemental private health insurance on health care utilization and expenditure under the mandatory National Health Insurance(NHI) system in Korea. Methods: The data were collected by the National Cancer Center in Korea. Cancer patients who were newly diagnosed with stomach (ICD code, C16), lung(C33-C34), liver (C22), colorectal cancer(C18-C20) or breast(C50) cancer were included as study subjects. Data were gathered using a structured questionnaire from face-to-face interviews, the hospital Order Communication System (OCS) and medical records. Clinical, socio-demographic and private health insurance related factors were also gathered. The differences of health care utilization and expenditure were compared between those who have private health insurance and those who do not using t-test and multivariable regression analysis. Results: Individuals with private health insurance spent larger inpatient costs than those without, but no differences were found in utilization in other service such as hospital admissions, hospital days and physician visits. Conclusions: We found that private health insurance exerts a significant effect on the health care expenditure in inpatient service. These study results can provide a rational basis to plan a national health policy regarding private health insurance. Further studies are needed to investigate the impacts of private health insurance on cancer patients' outcomes and survival rates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health