ABSTRACT

The objective of this paper was to examine the effects of CHE on financial coping and poverty of households in South Korea. Using panel data of 5,155 households that participated over a 6 year period (2008-2013) in the Korea Welfare Panel. The incidence of CHE in South Korea increased overall between 2011 and 2013. The results showed that private transfer income and private insurance benefits were significantly positively correlated with CHE, but savings was significantly negatively correlated with CHE. Especially, poor households were more likely to rely on private transfer income, while non-poor households were likely to finance CHE through health insurance, savings and private transfer income. Non-medical consumption expenditure was significantly lower in households with CHE than in those without CHE, but this result was statistically significant only in non-poor households. Households with CHE showed significantly higher risk of facing poverty than households without CHE. The high rates of CHE and impoverishment resulting from CHE can be implied that the medical safety net in South Korea was insufficient. It is necessary that a policy should be developed for the protection of vulnerable households, as well as the reinforcement of South Korea's health security system to reduce the risk of catastrophic health expenditure.

KEYWORD

Catastrophic Health Expenditure, Financial Coping, Poverty, Penal Analysis

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