Patient Payment and Unhealthy Behavior: A Comparison across European Countries

Reza Rezayatmand*, Milena Pavlova, Wim Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Introduction. Prior research has documented that unhealthy behaviors result in greater health care use and greater health care costs. However, there are few studies on out-of-pocket expenditure paid by those engaging in unhealthy behaviors. We provide cross-country evidence on the association of smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity with health care use and health care cost as well as out-of-pocket payments among the elderly in Europe. Method. Using SHARE dataset for 13 European countries, the study uses a sequential logit model to analyze use and payments for outpatient and inpatient health care service in addition to a two-part model for the analysis of use and payments for prescribed drugs. Results. Former smoking is associated with a higher rate of health care use. However, current smoking is associated with lower health care use. Former smoking is also associated with paying higher amount of out-of-pocket payments. Alcohol consumption is associated with lower health care use. Conclusion. We do not find systematic evidence that unhealthy behaviors among elderly (50+) are associated with more utilization of health care and more out-of-pocket payments. The results can be of interest for policies that aim to make people more responsible toward their health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2615105
Number of pages13
JournalBioMed Research International
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • HEALTH-CARE UTILIZATION
  • PHYSICAL INACTIVITY
  • ALCOHOL-CONSUMPTION
  • ECONOMIC BURDEN
  • TOBACCO USE
  • SMOKING
  • COSTS
  • OBESITY
  • POPULATION
  • OVERWEIGHT

Cite this