Guidance on Continuing Coverage + Gaps

First – thank you all for creating/maintaining such a helpful and important community. Navigating this system is difficult and stressful, and you all provide incredible support to folks (like me) that really need it!

My Situation: I’m leaving my job on very short notice, and I am trying to evaluate the best options for me and my wife. Tomorrow (9/30/2022) is my last day, and my employer coverage will lapse tomorrow as well since its the end of the month. I am planning to start a new job on 11/7/2022, which will immediately provide coverage upon my start date. I have received the option from my current benefits provider to continue coverage, technically it is not COBRA because the employer is less than 20 employees, but just as expensive.

Here are my options as I understand it:

Continue with current coverage, pay about $1.4k for month of October, and possibly $1.4k for November (trying to get clarity on whether I can just pay for the first week of november).

Shop on my state marketplace for insurance, pay for October and/or November.

Try the r/HI patent-pending method of leveraging the election grace period to not elect coverage if I don’t end up needing it. We would easily be able to go without seeing a doctor over this period, short of a medical emergency / unexpected illness.

Then I need to decide whether I pay for November coverage — is a week-long lapse in coverage disadvantageous for me long-term? My wife and I don’t have major medical issues, but both have some more minor ‘pre-existing conditions’. I’ve read a bunch about how this is bad and you would be ‘starting from scratch’ with a new provider.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you all can provide!