It was the sixth-consecutive day that the index set a record. In July, it broke its all-time high set in December 2000.
So far this year, the health care group is up 17 percent, outperforming not only the broader market, but rest of the nine major S&P 500 sectors. The last time the sector was up this much in a quarter was in Q2 2000, when it rose 23 percent.
Tuesday's surge followed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announcement of an increase in the payment rate by 3.3 percent in 2014 for insurers that offer coverage through the popular Medicare Advantage program. (Read More: In Reversal, US to Raise Medicare Advantage Payment Rate)
Although the health care sector is traditionally considered a "defensive play" during economic downturns, the projected increase in both revenue and profit this year, as a result of major changes under the U.S. health care law, has helped many of these stocks move higher.
Here's a look at some of the largest managed-health care companies and their performance year-to-date.