Obamacare helping health insurance shares, so far

|By:, SA News Editor

The Affordable Care Act appears to have so far proved beneficial to investors in health insurers.

Over the past year, the share prices of the five top firms in the sector — Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM) and Cigna (CI) — have increased an average of 32%, well above the S&P 500's rise of 24%.

Health insurers predict that their earnings will rise after Obamacare is fully in effect, as they expect to gain more customers from people being forced to buy coverage. This is seen offsetting the cost of increased regulations. A fall in healthcare costs has also helped the sector.