Young adults could pay relatively little up front for Obamacare, only to pay a lot later.
They may be more likely to buy cheaper plans on the health care exchanges, but they are often less informed about how high out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, can erase any savings realized from the lower premiums, potentially leaving them with crippling bills, experts told CNBC.com.
"I think the exposure is pretty high. It's way higher than most people are used to," said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the health policy research group. "There will be some people who will, for whatever reason, end up getting high-deductible health plans, and I think some of them may not like it."
Under the Affordable Care Act, plans being sold on new government-run exchanges are grouped into four tiers—bronze, silver, gold and platinum—whose monthly premiums reflect the percentage of covered benefits, with the bronze having the lowest premiums.
As a rule, the cheaper a plan's monthly premiums, the higher its deductible and other out-of-pocket costs.
"I was looking at Texas earlier today," Pollitz said. "They had a bronze Blue Cross plan that was $250 a month ... for a 40-year-old. The bronze had a $6,000 deductible, but the silver had a $3,000 deductible."
"The bronze plans, all the ones I've seen, have $5,000 or $6,000 deductibles," she said.