Virtual Conference
Healthcare conferences 2022

Yerin Cha

National Health Insurance Research Institute, Republic of Korea

Title: Catastrophic health expenditure in household with elderly: Does elderly in houses matter?


The financial burden on the household economy due to excessive medical costs compared to the capacity-to-pay is called ‘Catastrophic Health Expenditure(CHE)’. The elderly gradually loses opportunities for economic activities, at the same time, because of aging and chronic diseases, the number of hospitals visits are much larger compared to the younger generation. Therefore, the fixed costs of medical expenses increase and they are more likely to be exposed to CHE. The purpose of this study is to examine the factors influencing the incurrence of CHE depending on whether the elderly in households or not. Data from the ‘Korea Health Panel(KHP)’ in 2019(the latest data) were used for the empirical analysis. We defined CHE as household’s health expenditure exceeding 20%, 40% thresholds level of the household’s capacity-to-pay. The study targeted 5,740 households of which 2,877 elderly households. Frequency analysis and logistic regression analysis were conducted. Main results are as follows, First, the incidences of CHE based on each 20%, 40% threshold was 9.0%, 23.64% in elderly households but 1.43%, 4.12% in household without elderly. Second, It was found that the variables(household income, the ratio of disabled members, economically active members, and chronic diseases in household) affected the occurrence of CHE in elderly households, but it had no effect on household without elderly. Third, in elderly household, the lower the house income, the higher ratio of chronic diseases members, disabled, economically active members in household, the higher the CHE. In conclusion, Korea government Policies are focusing on expanding more financial aids to the elderly. Therefore, it is considered that the factors having effect on the CHE in elderly household must be taken into regard on establishing the measures for preventing the occurrence of CHE and that policies will be required to prevent the recurrence of CHE.


Yerin Cha is currently working as a chief researcher at National Health Insurance Service in South Korea. She obtained her master’s degree in Occupational therapy, and PHD student at the department of Public Health in South Korea.