I've searched unsuccessfully, and am hoping someone here will know the answer.
Situation is I'm thinking about what month/time of year to ER. Could go end of this year, maybe next June, end of 2016, undecided. I've already gone to less than full time, working the minimum to maintain HI, and it's obvious to my boss that I'm not going to work to 65 (we've known each for 25 years and I made a career change to less stress/money, he's no dummy and sees that I'm on the glide path, but he's OK with that and wants me to stay as long as possible, it will be VERY hard to get my experience at the salary they're willing to pay). He's asked me to inform him in advance (no definition of how long) in order to allow for succession planning. I have no problem with this, within reason, aside from thinking I should be paid more, I have a great work situation. Some would think I'm crazy to give it up, but the worst day of not working still beats the best day at work, right?
Given the typical hiring/work cycle, I think 3-4 months is reasonable. I would cut back even more during that time to use up vacation and get pension credit, which I wouldn't get if vacation is just paid out on departure. I'm at a University, and every semester has a bunch of work during the month leading up to its start, so I would stay to do that with the replacement the first time. I should add that I'm research staff, so I don't have classes to consider in finishing out a semester.
DW is medicare age eligible, but on my work policy, while I am under medicare age. For a couple of reasons, ACA subsidies are not a consideration (we'd barely hit a subsidy of less than $1k if we pulled every lever possible, and would have to give up Roth conversion space that would just bite us back down the road). Once my work coverage stops, she must start medicare immediately or be subject to increased premiums. She is also retired under a state retirement plan that will partially subsidize her HI, so the best deal for her is to move to that plan. If it's a mid year departure, there is some extra cost for satisfying deductibles again, but that will be minimal.
In my individual case, COBRA looks to be the better deal. Although we're on a HDHP, we satisfy the deductible in the first six months or so of the year. Both of us have chronic health issues that require regular attention, so the low cost REALLY high deductible plans don't look cost effective. Would rather not switch mid year.
Still reading? Thanks!
The question is, can I elect single COBRA coverage upon departure without having DW continue since we were both covered by the policy while working? Or do I have to take the same type of coverage, the couple coverage that's in place while working.
If so, I wonder how they handle the deductibles. The couple deductibles are twice the single, but if one individual has no expenses, the other has to hit the higher couple limit before co-coverage kicks in. What if I have low expenses in the first half of the year while DW has high expenses and we hit the couple deductible. Then she's off, and now it's just as a single on COBRA. Do I have to hit the single deductible on my own?
Hope that makes sense. Easy solution is to FIRE at the end of the calendar year, but that isn't necessarily desirable for other reasons. Thinking a mid year 2016 departure might suit me for personal reasons. No other anniversaries to consider, just every month I work is a little more into the stash. Trying to anticipate the transition process in advance, and make the best choice possible. Also want to understand in case I plan a date to go and they ask me to hang around some if they are delayed in replacing me (which I highly expect to happen).
Thanks for your assistance!