An analysis of the effects of the income level of the family caregivers for the recipients in long-term care facilities on the willingness to pay for use of better services: A cross-sectional study
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to confirm how the income level of the family caregivers for recipients in long-term care (LTC) facilities are related to family caregivers’ willingness to pay out-of-pocket payments for better LTC services. Methods: This study used the 2021 survey data on cost sharing in LTC facilities, which surveyed 1,111 family caregivers of recipients. To analyze the effect of the income level of family caregivers on the willingness to pay out-of-pocket payments for better LTC services, a chi-square test, a Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test, and a logistic regression analysis were performed. Results: We found that 39.0% of respondents were willing to pay out-of-pocket payments if better services were available to recipients. Adjusted for recipient’s and family caregivers’ variables, characteristics of out-of-pocket payment, and LTC service use, the willingness to pay in the monthly household income level of 5 million won and more was 3.28 times higher than those in the monthly household income level of less than 1 million won (95% confidence level=1.93~5.55, p<.001). As monthly household income rises, the odds ratio of willingness to pay tended to increase (p<.001). Conclusion: Family caregivers who bear the out-of-pocket payments of LTC facilities are willing to pay more for better LTC services. In addition, the higher the income level of family caregivers, the higher their willingness to pay. A full-scale review of the system reform is needed to prevent out-of-pocket payments from becoming an economic barrier to service users and to contribute to service quality improvement and financial stability.