DavidG, welcome to the board and congrats on approaching FIRE.
As I understand it, you can't make claims on both since the carriers have "coordination of benefits" meaning they won't double pay for the same service. However, if a service is covered by one carrier but not by another, you can bill the covering carrier for that service only.
I'm reading your post to say that retirement health insurance is available only for you through your soon-to-be former employer (although you pay). And you need to hold on to the old policy to assure that your wife is covered. Did I get it right?
It's very uncommon for an employer not to offer family coverage, though you may have to pay the difference in premiums yourself. In fact, I thought that some states require that dependent insurance be offered, at least for large groups. I assume you discussed this with the benefits people.
Tough to have to double-pay for this but you are wise to maintain her coverage and when you finally do retire, you have the benefit of knowing that you have access to coverage. Maybe by then, there will be some legislative relief.
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.
As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.