Does a National Health Insurance Program Correlate with Life Satisfaction among Older Adults? Longitudinal Findings from a Natural-Experimental Design in Taiwan

Chi Chiao, National Yang Ming University

Using data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging, we sought to evaluate whether National Health Insurance (NHI) produces a longitudinal beneficial effect on life satisfaction of older Taiwanese adults. Results from growth curve models indicated a significant decline in life satisfaction after the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake and no significant increase after 2003 SARAS; however, a significant increase in this after 12-year NHI establishment. In addition, the pre-NHI uninsured had a significantly lower level of life satisfaction before NHI establishment in comparison to the pre-NHI insured through Government Employee insurance (ß=-1.38, p<0.05), even controlling for concurrent medical care utilization and health status. And, NHI significantly reduced gaps in life satisfaction between the pre-NHI uninsured and the pre-NHI insured over time. These findings suggest a long-term effect of the NHI policy on life satisfaction among older adults. The NHI efforts to promote life satisfaction among older adults should be recognized.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 2