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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: UnitedHealth, Humana, Cigna, Aetna and Genworth Financial

UNH HUM CI AET GNW

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For Immediate Release

 

Chicago, IL – July 30, 2012 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. Health Insurance, including UnitedHealth (UNH - Analyst Report), Humana (HUM - Analyst Report), Cigna (CI - Analyst Report), Aetna (AET - Analyst Report) and Genworth Financial Inc.(GNW - Analyst Report).

 

 

A synopsis of today’s Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at  

Link: http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/79867/health-insurance-stock-review-july-2012

 

Revenue from managed-care plans of Medicare Advantage is expected to grow significantly as baby boomers retire. Medicare Advantage is a privately-run version of the government's Medicare insurance program for the aged and disabled.

Managed-care is expected to get a lot more attention as the federal and state governments try to reduce costs. The now-unsuccessful Congressional "Super-Committee" looked into trimming some of the funds out of the federal health care programs, but failed to reach a bipartisan agreement. Major cuts to the Medicare program, whenever it happens, will shift some of the costs to seniors.

This could, in turn, be good for health insurers, making their Medicare Advantage plans more attractive than traditional Medicare plans. Moreover, many individuals would look forward to supplementing government coverage with private insurance, boosting demand for Medicare Advantage plans. But reforming the government health care program has proven to be very difficult politically.

Until now, only two of the public providers – UnitedHealth (UNH - Analyst Report) and Humana (HUM - Analyst Report) -- control more than 10% of the market. However, we expect sharp consolidation in this market. Carriers in the health insurance sector are in a race to win Medicare Advantage market share and the fastest way of achieving the target is to acquire a company in the same business.

Following are some of the recent M&A activities in this arena:

Cigna (CI - Analyst Report) acquired HealthSpring Inc. for $3.8 billion in January this year. UnitedHealth's acquisition of XLHealth Corp, a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans in November 2011, is the next big deal, worth $2 billion. The acquisition of Preferred Care Partners (Preferred Care) and Medica HealthCare Plans (Medica) are pending. Earlier in 2011, UnitedHealth acquired Inspiris, which serves patients in Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance populations.

On October 1, 2011, Aetna (AET - Analyst Report) closed its acquisition of Genworth Financial Inc.'s (GNW - Analyst Report) Medigap business for $290 million.

 

 

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