Children Pay Half of Elderly Parents’ Medical Bills: Study | Be Korea-savvy

Children Pay Half of Elderly Parents’ Medical Bills: Study

(image: Korea Bizwire)

(image: Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Korea Bizwire)According to a recent survey, the hospital bills of elderly patients amount to an average of 32 million won, half of which is being paid for by their children.

Samsung Life Insurance Co. announced that its research center on retirement surveyed 400 people in June by carrying out interviews and questionnaires to query those who had spent more than 10 million won to pay for their elderly parents’ medical bills within the last five years.

According to the survey, 47 percent of the hospital bills were paid by the patients’ children.

Other methods of funding the bills included insurance claims (18 percent), financial assets excluding insurance (11 percent), extra income (9 percent), and real estate income (8 percent), in that order.

The patients’ battle with illness lasted, on average, 6.1 years incurring direct and indirect costs totaling an average of 32.28 million won.

The indirect costs, including costs for medication, care takers, supplements and living expenses accounted for 37 percent of the total expenses.

The survey also found that the longer the period of illness, the more indirect costs were incurred. Medical costs, making up the majority of the direct costs, accounted for 58 percent of total costs within the first two years of illness.

After 10 years of being ill, the patients’ direct costs fell to 50 percent while expenses for medication and health supplements increased in importance.

Of the children who took care of ill parents, 82 percent said that they experienced a decrease in household income.

Meanwhile, 95 percent of respondents answered that they “needed to prepare for medical bills for after retirement.” But only 48 percent of respondents said they were actually preparing for the future.

H. S. Seo (

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