Obamacare after separating from federal employment

I wish there had been a way to discover this for us so I’m throwing this out there for other folks, since we have been through these rapids.

We wind up with a choice between paying 80% more on the federal version of Cobra or a 25 day coverage gap. If we had known how to plan, we could have reduced the gap.

For starters, “cobra” (technically TCC in fedspeak) is a lot more expensive. You do get to change plans, but even the cheapest ones are on the level of a gold Marketplace (obamacare) plan, just over a grand.

Also, you have to go through a Marketplace plan to get premium offset tax credit, which is like $350 a month. So the net cost of a Marketplace plan that provides primary care and generic drugs while you work on your deductible would be probably $500. Trouble is, Marketplace can only start on the first day of a month following end of other coverage.

TCC runs on 31 day cycles relative to biweekly pay cycles, so its just not really going to line up with that very often. Would it have been better to separate 2 weeks earlier and still have a 9 day gap? Hard to say.

TCC has this caveat about a requirement to exhaust TCC eligibility for HIPPA. I think that has to to with pre existing conditions. Which I think should not be a thing anymore, but if anyone who reads this knows otherwise, let me know.


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