Analysis of the Effect of the Elderly's Labor Status on Care Cost at the End of Life

Eun Jung Kim, Seok Jun Yoon, Young Eun Kim, Dunsol Go, Yunsun Jung, Munkhzul Radnaabaatar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study quantitatively analyzes the effects of employment patterns at the time of death of the elderly on the utilization of medical care before death using the cohort data from the National Health Insurance Corporation, controlling mortality to obtain more accurate results. Gender was coded as 0 for males and 1 for females, and average monthly household income was taken as a logarithm to approximate a normal distribution. Care cost at the end of life was defined as the sum of the national health insurance contributions and statutory self-contributions. To measure proximity to death, deceased elderly were divided by the period from last hospital visit to death (except any hospital visit at time of death). We distinguished regular workers, irregular workers, self-employed and employers, unpaid family workers, and unemployed. The data used in this study are sample cohort data from the National Health Insurance Corporation. We examined the relationships between variables through 4 models using negative binomial regression. The effects of employment status on health status were analyzed and adjusted for demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, and proximity to death. As the dependent variable, medical expenses were taken for 1 year before death. In this study, care costs at end of life were higher when children were economically independent and when the respondent was more educated, had high economic level, and had high average monthly household income. In addition, employment security also had a significant impact on care cost at end of life: Irregular workers spent significantly less than regular workers. The fact that care cost at end of life is differentiated according to employment status suggests that individuals’ health exists within a social context, which may also constrain it: There is a risk that people’s health status will become determined by socioeconomic status.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalInquiry (United States)
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea grant funded by the Korea government (No. 2017R1A2B4005876).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © The Author(s) 2019


    • Aging society
    • Elderly
    • End-of-life care cost
    • Labor status
    • Proximity to death

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy


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