Aim: There has been little research exploring the expenditures associated with medical and dental health services and their interrelationship. The purposes of this cross-sectional study were to describe features of annual health expenditure and to examine the relationship between medical and dental health expenditures.
Materials and methods: Data on health expenditure from a total of 9,149 haulage workers aged 18–75 years (7,343 men and 1,806 women), who belonged to a health insurance association, were drawn for the analysis using electric health insurance claims from January through December in 2015. In-patient and out-patient fees as well as the corresponding pharmaceutical fees reported in the health insurance claims were aggregated to derive total medical and dental health expenditures.
Results: The medical services utilization rate (77.4%) was significantly higher than the dental services utilization rate (42.0%) (p <0.001), and both medical and dental services utilization rates increased with age (p for trend <0.001). Per capita medical and dental health expenditures also significantly increased with age (p for trend <0.001). Per capita medical health expenditure in workers who used dental services was significantly higher than that in those who did not use dental services in persons in the 40 years and older age groups (p <0.05).
Conclusion: The present findings indicate a positive association between medical and dental health expenditures. Therefore, an improvement in oral health through workplace preventive measures may bring decrease not only of dental health expenditure but also of medical and total health expenditures in the industry.
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