JKAOH Journal of Korean Academy of Oral Health

ISSN(Print) 1225-388X ISSN(Online) 2093-7784


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Original Article

Journal of Korean Academy of Oral Health 2014; 38(4): 203-211

Published online December 30, 2014 https://doi.org/10.11149/jkaoh.2014.38.4.203

Copyright © Journal of Korean Academy of Oral Health.

How does private health insurance affect dental care utilization?

Sun-Mi Kim, Eunsuk Ahn, Hosung Shin

Department of Social and Humanity in Dentistry, Wonkwang University School of Dentistry, Iksan, Korea

Received: August 18, 2014; Revised: October 16, 2014; Accepted: October 27, 2014


Objectives: This study discussed dental care utilization efficiency and equity from the perspective of private health insurance policy using the 2011 Korea Health Panel dataset. Methods: A total of 10,577 subjects, aged 20 years or older, were selected from a larger sample (N=18,256). The study conducted a two-part model analysis to determine the impact of private health insurance on utilization and amount of dental care. Results: Average monthly payment of private health insurance is 76,727 KRW. Analysis of average monthly fees and income distribution by quartile showed that higher income groups pay proportionally more for private health insurance. The highest income group was 3.82 times more likely to have private health insurance than the lowest income group. Those with private health insurance coverage had a higher probability of using dental care but were not more likely to use a greater number of dental services. Conclusions: Based on these empirical findings, a guarantee of health care system and policy equity and efficiency should be established for changes in private health insurance.

Keywords: Delivery of health care, Dental care, Private health insurance, Two-part model