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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

한국개발연구. Vol. 31, No. 1, June 2009, pp. 139-167

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Determinants of Demand for Long-Term Care

Wank yo Chung

Author & Article History

Manuscript .


A new public insurance for long-term care was introduced in July 2008 to provide for the rising demand for long-term care as the population is aging rapidly. The demand for long-term care is expected to rise further because more and more elderly are living alone or in households with only other elderly, such as his/her spouse, without informal care of their adult children. Even when the elderly are living together with their adult children, daughters and daughters in law, once the main informal care-givers, are not available because they choose to become economically active and work more over time. Experiences of countries such as Japan and Germany with similar public long-term care insurance scheme highlight the importance of detailed analysis on the demand for long-term care for the financial stability of the insurance scheme. Countries which had underestimated the demand for long-term care at the time of adopting the scheme went through financial instability of insurance schemes. This study analyzes the determinants of the demand for long-term care using data from the second demonstration project (April 2006~April 2007) of the long-term care insurance scheme for the elderly in Korea. Taking full advantage of detailed data on the long-term care, this paper analyzes the eligibility for the long-term care insurance scheme and its use. According to study results, even when common diseases among the elderly such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, hypertension, etc. are controlled together with other individual and socioeconomic factors, limitations the elderly are faced with in their twelve activities of daily living significantly affect the eligibility for the Korean Long-term Care Insurance Scheme. This means that limitations in daily living activities are more critical than common diseases among the elderly are to the eligibility for the Korean Long-term Care Insurance Scheme. Bathing and toileting problems have been found to be the most important factor affecting the eligibility for the insurance scheme, followed by eating, dressing and moving around inside the house. Moreover, the choices of whether to use long-term care and which to use between home care and institutional care are found to be significantly influenced by health status and various socioeconomic factors of the elderly. In particular, those with more limitations in daily living activities and the female elderly are more likely to use long-term care and institutional care rather than home care. As for home care users, those living alone or with adult children and those with monthly household income of more than 500,000 won are more likely to use home care. Most importantly, even when the monthly household income of the elderly is controlled, the elderly recipients of the National Basic Living Security, who are not charged for long-term care, are more likely to choose home care. This implies that price as well as income is a critical factor for the decision to use long-term care. Further study on the duration of long-term care use will surely enhance the long-term care policy, when panel data is available for simultaneous analysis of the likelihood of long-term care use and its use duration.


장기요양서비스(LongTerm Care), 노인장기요양보험제도(Korean LongTerm Cave Insurance Scheme)

JEL Code

I11, I18

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