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Archive for August 27th, 2008

2008 PBO FS Down, As Expected

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As has been widely expected, the funded status of defined benefit pension plans has declined during 2008. This graph shows the market value of assets (blue circles) and the projected benefit obligations (red squares) for the subset of S&P 500 pension plan sponsors with fiscal years ending June 30 that have released their 2008 financial statements by today, showing aggregate amounts as of the close of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.

As noted in a previous aftermath post, the PBO funded ratio for companies with 6/30 FYE has been lower than that for the entire universe of all S&P pension plan sponsors. But as had been the case for the entire S&P 500 universe, the funded status had steadily improved during recent years through the close of 2007. The 2008 economy has reversed that trend. For this particular subset, asset values were almost flat during the past year, while liabilities as measured by the PBO increased. The result for this subset was a decline in the PBO funded ratio of about two percentage points, from 91.9% for 2007 to 90.0% for 2008.

Unless markets reverse the experience of the first half of calendar year 2008, expect to see a drop of 2-5 percentage points in the PBO funded status to be representative of the entire S&P 500 universe for 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by macheide

27 August 2008 at 8:20 pm

Posted in άctuary

P is for Portability

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A current employee . . . [is] eligible for special enrollment . . . if— (A) The employee . . . [is] otherwise eligible to enroll . . . [and] (B) When coverage under the plan was previously offered, the employee had coverage under any group health plan or health insurance coverage . . . .”

45 C.F.R. § 146.117(a)(2)

Common sense conditions apply, but the gist of that is that if you declined health insurance coverage with your current employer because you were already covered under some other health insurance, and then you subsequently lose that other coverage, your employer’s health insurance plan is required to provide you a special enrollment period.

Some rude health insurance company employee wants Kelly to believe that it’s “against state law” for them to allow him to come into his company’s plan now, upon losing coverage under his dad’s company’s health plan. Against state law? Since when did state law trump HIPAA? Not!

Kelly’s situation is one of the simplest illustrations of what the P in HIPAA stands for. A health insurer’s employee should not be acting as a representative for the insurer without knowing that very basic rule.

Bumper Sticker [] - paterfamilias

Written by macheide

27 August 2008 at 6:05 pm

Posted in paterfamilias

Cougar Pride

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Here, Nat has her first pep rally on the UH cheer squad, classes for the fall semester having started this week and the first football game coming up this Saturday.

For future reference, should we decide to mingle with the college crowd at any future UH pep rally: the best views are on the second or third level, standing by the railing (a spot for which one need not arrive as early as we did for our ground-level seats).

Also, no matter what month of the year it is, bring that water bottle with the fan. Whoever had dreams of hosting summer Olympic games in this town must have been sitting out too long in the Houston heat without a hat.

Bumper Sticker [] - cheerled

Written by macheide

27 August 2008 at 5:47 pm

Posted in cheerled

Spitting Image

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“spitting in wine glass”

Huh? Well, so last night I reinstated a practice I’ve not done for years: keeping a pen and some blank paper close at hand on my nightstand, then jotting down notes as I drowse half-awake during the night, sometimes an idea for an image of a poem, sometimes something I might want to sketch, sometimes an idea for my work, but usually just a scrap of a dream. Typically limiting the note to the bare essential of what I figure will trigger my memory the following morning.

So, this morning’s scribble was supposed to be enough to flip the switch on for a dream I had during my first two hours of sleep. At the time I wrote it, I remember holding out hopes that I would also remember the preceding dream sequence, which at the time was still fresh enough to feel like an obvious prelude to the spitting scene. And then a whole series of followthrough sequences, all of which felt too obvious to me at the time, so even during drowsing moments I felt no necessity to write down anything further.

Alas and alak! Now, all I have is a tangled bedhead that distantly senses that the spitting was a sacred ritual, accepted and expected by the recipient of the wine, not at all meant as an insult. But none of the rest of last night’s dreaming survived. All ran off, laughing at that scribbled note left on my nightstand.

bumper sticker [] - bedhead

Written by macheide

27 August 2008 at 7:41 am

Posted in bedhead


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What was your most recent memorable birthday?

meme from susan


My 0th. The one before my first. I’ve forgotten all the ones I’ve had since.

At least I chose the best hour of the best day of the best month. Can’t promise my birthday will ever get much more memorable than that.

bumper sticker [] - not me

Written by macheide

27 August 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in not meme