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Inequality in Life Expectancy in Korea according to Various Categorizations of the National Health Insurance Premiums as a Marker of Income

Yonsei Medical Journal 2020년 61권 7호 p.640 ~ 643
박진욱 ( Bahk Jin-Wook ) - Keimyung University Department of Public Health

강희연 ( Kang Hee-Yeon ) - Seoul National University College of Medicine Department of Health Policy and Management
강영호 ( Khang Young-Ho ) - Seoul National University College of Medicine Department of Health Policy and Management

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which the magnitude of income inequality in life expectancy according to different categorization across beneficiary types under the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) in Korea. We used population and death data in 2017 from the National Health Information Database of the NHIS. Income quintile groups were classified in four ways according to beneficiary type (employee insured, self-employed insured, and Medical Aid beneficiaries). Standard life table procedures were used to calculate life expectancy. The life expectancy gap between the lowest and highest income quintiles was the largest when the entire population was divided into quintiles without distinguishing among types of beneficiaries. In conclusion, we suggest that income quintile indicators in NHIS data, measured without distinguishing among types of beneficiaries, may best represent the magnitude of health inequalities in Korean society. This indicator could be used for future research on health inequalities, as well as for monitoring health inequalities in Korea.

키워드

Life expectancy; National Health Insurance; health policy; socioeconomic factors
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