It is well known that there is a connection between social status and people’s health. The Economic Research Institute (Wifo) has now looked at how the unequal use of the health care system in educational groups affects the future development of costs.
The Wifo study showed that the health of people with a higher level of education is significantly better than that of other educational groups, regardless of gender. Accordingly, Wifo calculated that the costs are 13 percent lower over the course of a lifetime, at least for women with a higher level of education, than for women with at most compulsory schooling.
Smaller differences for men
The pattern was not so clear among men, with all educational groups showing approximately the same costs in the longitudinal section. This is due to the fact that the differences according to education are more pronounced in the life expectancy of men than those of women, and the higher life expectancy of persons with a higher level of education compensates for the lower health expenditure in the individual phases of life.
Rising life expectancy central to rising costs
All this does not change the fact that the Wifo assumes that the health costs of the population in Austria will rise significantly in the coming decades. Rising life expectancy plays a central role in this. According to the expectations of economic researchers, however, future changes in the educational structure will only have a slightly dampening effect on the expected increase in costs.
Much stronger are the effects of the assumptions on the future development of healthy life years, according to the Wifo. If “slower” aging is also assumed with increasing life expectancy, in which the healthy life years increase proportionally, the costs at the end of the observation period (2060) will decrease by about ten percent, according to the researchers.
hp, Source: ORF.at/agencies. Picture: pixabay.com
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