Surging Health Care Index Sets Another Record
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.
|Symbol||Company Name||Price||% Chg||% Chg YTD|
|WCG||Wellcare Health Plans Inc.||62.3||3.8||28.3|
|HNT||Health Net Inc.||29.7||2.3||22.6|
|MOH||Molina Healthcare Inc.||31.5||2.6||16.7|
|UNH||UnitedHealth Group Inc.||62.6||5.8||15|
|CVH||Coventry Health Care Inc.||48.3||1.8||7.9|
|MGLN||Magellan Health Services Inc.||49.8||1.7||2.3|