An evaluation on the effect of the copayment waiver policy for Korean hospitalized children under the age of six Health policy, reform, governance and law

Sook Young Kwak, Seok-Jun Yoon, In Hwan Oh, Young Eun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In January 2006, the Korean government implemented a copayment waiver policy for hospitalized children under the age of 6 years to reduce the economic burden on patients. This policy was implemented from 2006 to 2007 in Korea and involved hospitalized children under the age of 6 years. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effect of the copayment waiver policy on health insurance beneficiaries. Methods: The change in medical service utilization before and after the policy implementation was analyzed using data from the national health insurance corporation (NHIC) and compared with medical aid beneficiaries who were already exempt from copayment. The "difference in difference" method was applied to determine the net effect of the copayment waiver policy. Results: The net effect of policy implementation on NHIC beneficiaries was unclear by the "difference in difference" method because the number of inpatient days and hospital expenditure after policy implementation showed opposite results. The copayment waiver policy did not decrease the intensity of health care utilization when compared with the medical aid beneficiaries group. Among the NHIC beneficiaries, patients who utilized medical services for fatal disease and those with the low premiums group were more affected by the policy. Conclusions: The net effect of copayment waiver policy remains unclear. Therefore, further studies are needed to determine the effects of policies implemented to reduce the economic burden on patients, such as the herein-described copayment waiver policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 2



  • Copayment
  • Copayment waiver policy
  • Difference in difference
  • Korea
  • Medical utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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