Bartering for medical services

Over the last year and a half I’ve bartered for dental services, physical therapy, chiropractic services, massage therapy and prescription drugs.  Some of this has been direct trade, but a lot of it has gone through one of my barter exchanges.  Here is a quick run-down of what I’ve done and the ups and downs.

Dental Services
My whole whole family goes to a local dentist that is 100% barter through IMS.  What’s really great is that he trades EVERYTHING including all the lab fees.  That’s also what’s bad about the deal because it got to the point where he was considering dropping barter because his cash expenses were so high.  I’ve encouraged him to start charging cash for his out-of-pocket lab fees (like paying for parts with an auto-mechanic) and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to continue bartering him for his services.  Lesson learned:  Watch out for too good of a deal because it can’t last.

Physical Therapy
My wife had major surgery on her neck and she just started physical therapy last week.  She has gone to a highly recommended therapist in the past so we tried to recruit him into a local barter exchange.  He was not interested.  I’m not sure if it was that he’s got a good enough cash business that he doesn’t need trade, if he doesn’t understand barter, or if he simply isn’t interested in jumping through the hoops that come with barter.  Regardless of the reason, he didn’t join.  I spoke with him after that failed and asked if he’d be interested in simply doing a direct trade and that I could access anything in the exchange directly without him having to join.  He did agree to that however it did feel like he was doing it as a favor  to my wife and I rather than because it was a good deal for him.  I really feel bad about that however, my wife really needs this therapy so we’re pushing forward.  I am very grateful that someone as in-demand as he is will trade with us.

Chiropratic services and massage therapy
These were simple transactions through our local exchange.

Perscription Drugs
You know what….this is a whole other article. I’ll come back and give you the details about bartering for perscription drugs soon.

Insurance
It’s important to note that just because you paid on barter for these services, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count toward your deductible on your insurance.  If the service provider doesn’t bill your insurance directly, then make sure you submit your receipts yourself.  The beautiful thing is, once you’ve hit your deductible, it is possible to pay for these services on barter, then get reimbursed by your insurance company in cash.  CHA-CHING!!!!

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