Health Care stocks have been on an impressive run to start 2013. The Affordable Care Act will provide millions of Americans with access to healthcare, creating new revenue streams for companies across the sector. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Health Care Sector and provides equity research on UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) and WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG).
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires every American to acquire health insurance by 2014 or be subjected to a tax. For those who can't afford health insurance they will be offered subsidies or Medicaid. Statistics from the Census Bureau show that approximately 50 million Americans did not have health insurance in 2009.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services total health care spending is projected to grow from an estimated $2.8 trillion last year to $4.8 trillion by 2021, an increase of 70 percent. "There's just a lot more money flowing into health care and we're seeing the markets react accordingly," says Invesco portfolio manager, Derek Taner.
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UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealth Group reported revenues for full year 2012 increased 9 percent year-over-year to $110.6 billion.
WellCare Health Plans provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. As of September 30, 2012, the company serves approximately 2.6 million members nationwide. The company is scheduled to release fourth quarter and year-end 2012 results on Wednesday, February 13th.
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