Barter Exchanges Allow People to Make Trades for Health-related Services

Barter Exchanges Allow People to Make Trades for Health-related Services

Small-business owner Jim Owens is able to cover the  cost of orthodontics for his employees and their families.

It’s quite a perk in an age of shrinking and  disappearing benefits for many workers.

Owens does it with the help of a bartering  exchange, an age-old business practice of trading services and goods that more  employers are using for medical services such as dental and vision care.

“I think the biggest thing is it helps with employee  morale,” said Owens, owner of Call Processing Professionals, a Robinson company  that sells business phone systems.

Employees’ out-of-pocket costs associated with dental  and vision plans are growing, and most plans don’t cover braces for a child’s  teeth, which can cost thousands of dollars. Bartering with orthodontists gives  Owens and other business owners in Western Pennsylvania a less expensive way to  provide benefits.

“That obviously makes for a very happy employee when  you can provide that,” Owens said.

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