Korean American health insurance and health services utilization


  • The authors acknowledge the helpful technical assistance in the final preparation of this manuscript of Dr. Byungjin Choi, research fellow in the Department of Statistical Science of the College of Politics and Economic, Korea University.


The purpose of this ethnic group study was to describe the unique pattern of Korean Americans, as compared with the aggregate of Asian Americans, for: (a) the predisposing, enabling, and need factors for health service utilization, focusing specifically on the role of health insurance coverage; and (b) predictors of health insurance coverage. Using the behavioral model for health service utilization, data were selected from the 1992 National Health Insurance Survey (NHIS, 1994) for Korean Americans (n = 345) and Asian Americans (n = 3,059). Results differed between the Korean American group and the Asian American group. Health insurance coverage was the strongest predictor of Korean American utilization, and need factors lacked significance, suggesting that uninsured Korean Americans have less access regardless of need. For the aggregate Asian American group, need factors tempered the influence of health insurance on utilization. Results of this type of study may be helpful for designing and implementing health care services tailored for specific ethnic at-risk markets. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Res Nurs Health 24:494–505, 2001