WATERDEEP — An adventuring party set to retire after a significant windfall in Undermountain was left in distress when they received a large invoice from the insurance company providing their group plan, which claimed the healer they used in the infamous dungeon was not in their network.
“Had I known when we met Saer Bairns that he’d foist upon us this shameful bill, I would have let him rot on the second level, not taken him on in our escape with our treasure”, said Aramis, a half-elf ranger who received a potion of healing. “The priest had the audacity to not only charge us five times the going rate for that potion I didn’t need, but also charge an administering fee just to place it in my hand. Would that I had relieved myself of it in his bedroll that night!”
The invoice, which The Sending Stone has obtained, reveals numerous methods in which excessive charges were calculated, including octupling the typical cost of material components and consumables, as well as charging handling and application fees for their use. A single greater restoration spell was billed at 2,000 gp, including 1,000 gp for the divine power needed to perform the magic, 100 gp to carry the diamond dust that focuses the magic, 100 gp to apply the dust to the spell recipient, and 800 gp for the dust itself. All of this was subject to a 35% surcharge for remote services outside of a temple, meaning that the cost to undo the temporary loss of a small portion of the fighter’s vitality amounted to 2,700 gp—more than four times the average yearly earnings of a skilled tradesman. The bill’s total was 12,994 gp.
According to the party’s insurance carrier, Greater Restorations, the adventurers were covered for services received from many churches, including those of of Tymora, Lathander, Corellon, Chauntea, and Ilmater. The services of The Honourable Trabbar Grayson Bairns, a priest of Waukeen, were out of network.
“It is of utmost importance to us that our customers obtain appropriate and timely care”, said Galbrath Donnar, a tiefling attorney representing Greater Restorations in a statement from the company, “but it is the responsibility of our customers to ensure that they obtain services that are in-network.”
“Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence”, explained Seraphina Blanche, a retired aasimar adventurer who founded and leads the Predatory Adventurer Liability Allocation Dispute Information Network, or PALADIN, an organization that raises awareness of these market risks. “The large insurance carriers primarily do business with churches that generally provide services at cheaper rates or which are willing to offer reduced prices to the insurer’s customers, saving costs to the company. At the same time, independent customers are frequently targeted by predatory financial practices, such as inflation of charges, often in a completely arbitrary fashion.”
PALADIN also connects those victimized by these practices with barristers possessing the necessary skills and abilities to contest predatory healing bills.
“About 200 years ago, large insurance carriers and churches conspired to pass cosmic laws requiring that disputes on these bills must be raised in the same jurisdiction as the provider”, added Blanche. “This means that to contest your co-pay, you have to make your way to the City of Dis on the second level of Hell, where the carrier’s head office got moved, or go to the plane of Arvandor to dispute the cost of a resurrection by a cleric of the Seldarine. While you can’t seem to swing a dead cat in the Forgotten Realms without hitting a legendary archmage, not many of them have the time, inclination, or expertise to travel the planes on such a matter. We maintain contact with experienced litigators who have the means to make such journeys.”
In the case of the bill received from the Church of Waukeen, the adventurers must travel to the Grand Forum of the goddess’ realm, the House of Barter in the Marketplace Eternal. Alternatively, they can seek out the headquarters of their insurer, Greater Restorations, in the City of Sigil.
The adventurers, who recently reached 10th level, have started a crowdsourcing campaign on GoHealMe to help cover their monthly instalments while retaining the services of an archmage-attorney to handle the contract dispute. You can contribute to their campaign through Dungeon Master’s Workshop on Patreon.
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