How to avoid surprise bills — and new law’s pitfalls

Patients are no longer required to pay for out-of-network care given without their consent when they receive treatment at hospitals covered by their health insurance since a federal law took effect at the start of this year. But the law’s protections against the infuriating, expensive scourge of surprise medical bills may be only as good as a patient’s knowledge — and ability to make sure those protections are enforced.