Dentists are seeing a spike in the number of customers opting for alternative payment methods such as bartering for dental care, according to an article in the Miami Herald.
These alternative payments are not limited to direct barter, with a simple and direct exchange of one service for another, according to the Herald. Rather, there are bartering brokerages, whose members get credit with other services offered by clients of the brokering firm.
This system lets people smooth out disconnects between the price of a service such as a tooth extraction and what a barter client might be able to offer in exchange.
Scott Ebberbach, part manager of the Boynton Beach branch of national barter firm ITEX, told the news source that dentists are one of the primary medical services involved in the barter trade.
"A lot of people have insurance," Ebberbach said, "But most people don't have dental insurance, and in order to pay for any sort of dental procedure, you've got to pay out of pocket very hard."
The system does not solve all problems for the uninsured, however, as members must have something sufficiently valuable to trade, which is often difficult for the unemployed.
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