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Health Care Select Sect SPDR ETF (XLV)

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  • Dec. 24, 2013, 4:30 AM
    • Amid a last-minute crush to buy health-insurance coverage, the White House has extended by 24 hours to today the deadline for signing up for plans.
    • Over 1M people had logged onto the much maligned HealthCare.gov Web site by 5 pm yesterday, causing sluggishness and long waiting times.
    • The postponement is the latest example of how the government has arbitrarily moved deadlines and changed the parameters of Obamacare, causing huge uncertainty for insurers and consumers.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFS: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 12 Comments
  • Dec. 22, 2013, 4:55 AM
    • Tomorrow is the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance that is due to take effect on January 1.
    • However, much uncertainty exists among insurers and consumers, due to government decisions to delay some of Obamacare's most important provisions, a result of the fiasco that has been the Healthcare.gov Web site, which suffered a three-hour outage on Friday.
    • The latest change is allowing anybody whose current plan is illegal under the new law to buy "catastrophic coverage", whereby benefits are limited and the deductibles are high. Those plans were initially supposed to be restricted to people under 30 years of age.
    • President Obama said on Friday that over 1M Americans have selected new health-insurance plans through the new exchanges. That's well below the initial target of 3.3M by the end of December.
    • Industry trade group Health Insurance Plans said its members will give consumers until January 10 to pay the first month's premium of a plan as long as they pick a scheme by tomorrow night. The move follows a request from the White House for insurance companies to be relaxed about the various deadlines.
    • The NYT profiles how Obamacare has hit those in the middle class who earn too much to be eligible for subsidies. "In some places, prices can quickly approach 20% of a person's income," the NYT writes. "Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10%."
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 17 Comments
  • Dec. 20, 2013, 12:37 PM
    • Health Care Select Sect SPDR ETF (XLV) announces quarterly distribution of $0.2250.
    • 30-day SEC yield of 1.50% (as of 12/18/2013).
    • For shareholders of record Dec 24; Payable Dec 31; Ex-div date Dec 20.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 15, 2013, 3:43 AM
    • Health insurers are continuing to receive error-strewn information from the government's HealthCare.gov Web site as the starting date for Obamacare coverage of January 1 draws closer.
    • However, the government maintains that the problems stem from data that was transferred to insurers in October and November, and that information passed over this month is accurate.
    • The government wants insurance companies to take a relaxed approach to the various deadlines and consumer coverage-issues that may crop up until all the kinks are ironed out, but whether the firms will comply is another matter.
    • Either way, bureaucratic chaos is expected to reign come the New Year.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 8 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2013, 10:02 AM
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 8, 2013, 4:58 AM
    • The government's HealthCare.gov Web site for Obamacare was failing to accurately transmit around 10% of applications to insurers - as of Friday - although that represents a vast improvement on the error rate in October.
    • Still, up to 25% of the enrollment records for people who bought coverage in October and November could contain mistakes, raising doubts about whether those customers would be insured if the policies take effect from January 1, as scheduled.
    • Meanwhile, insurers are working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a short-term back-up system that will enable the government to pay the firms for the income-based subsidies that many consumers qualify for under Obamacare.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 2, 2013, 3:18 AM
    • The White House said yesterday that it has achieved its target of improving the HealthCare.gov Web site so that it works "smoothly for the vast majority of users."
    • Officially, the portal is now operating over 90% of the time vs 40% at some points in October, the loading time is much faster, the error rate has dropped to 0.75% from 6%, and the site can handle 50,000 users at the same time.
    • However, the latter claim hasn't been tested in the real world, and some in the government reportedly aren't certain the site will hold up.
    • The back-end systems continue to be a problem, with one result being that while some consumers believe they've bought coverage from insurers, the latter don't have any records of the transactions. One detail that the government didn't provide was how many people are completing all the enrollment steps.
    • The next deadline is the middle of this month, by which time consumers need to have signed up for coverage that starts on January 1.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 2 Comments
  • Nov. 29, 2013, 5:21 AM
    • Tomorrow is the White House's self-imposed deadline for the federal HealthCare.gov Web site to be working properly for 80% of users.
    • However, "navigators" whose job it is to help people sign up say that problems persist. It's "kind of hit and miss," says one, although "there have definitely been more hits lately than in the past." The COO of Enroll Alaska rates the site 4/10.
    • Molina Healthcare (MOH) has expressed its support. "It is easier to navigate. It's working better. It's faster," Molina said.
    • More problems for the portal could lead to millions of Americans to decide to forego buying coverage and swallow the fine instead.
    • The participation of the young and healthy is particularly important to the success of the insurance exchanges.
    • Should the problems continue, the government might come under pressure to extend the March 31 deadline for open enrollment, a move that insurers have warned could undermine the market.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 21, 2013, 4:34 AM
    • President Barack Obama might have said that consumers will be allowed to keep canceled health-insurance policies for one more year, but at least five states - including New York and Washington - won't let such plans be reinstated, as they believe it would harm their exchanges.
    • Many carriers are also not allowing their customers to extend their old policies, due to time constraints and other obstacles. And those firms that may reverse the cancellations have said that premiums could rise.
    • Of the major players, Cigna (CI) could reinstate policies, while WellPoint (WLP) is analyzing the situation.
    • More on Obamacare.
    • Relevant company tickers: AET, HNT, MOH, HUM, UNH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 5 Comments
  • Nov. 14, 2013, 7:25 PM
    • Pres. Obama's administrative fix for health insurance cancellations may sound simple - allow insurers to extend their plans for another year - but it's anything but easy.
    • "Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers," says the head of the top insurer trade group. "Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace."
    • "The logistics of doing it with just a few days left in the policy year are extremely difficult," says a former CEO of Oklahoma's largest health system. The fix "shifts the blame and makes [the insurance companies] the culprits."
    • Aetna (AET) says it will need close cooperation from state insurance regulators to implement the fix.
    • Beyond the administrative burden, Citi analyst Carl McDonald says the change presents a risk of building a less healthy and less profitable pool of insurance buyers; the potential deterioration of the exchange market will pose a risk for WellPoint (WLP), Humana (HUM) and Health Net (HNT), which pursued aggressive exchange strategies for 2014.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 35 Comments
  • Nov. 12, 2013, 4:46 AM
    • Fewer than 50,000 people had managed to enroll in private insurance plans via the government's problem-plagued HealthCare.gov Web site as of last week. The number represents less than 10% of the 500,000 people that had been projected.
    • Twelve of the 14 states that are operating their own exchanges have signed up 49,000. The total is therefore also well below the initial target, which was 800,000. The Congressional Budget Office's prediction of 7M enrollments by March seems like a distant dream.
    • Major health insurers are so concerned that they want to be allowed to sign up those who are entitled to subsidies directly rather than via the federal system. However, the administration isn't keen, due to privacy concerns.
    • Insurers: Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM), Cigna (CI), Molina Healthcare (MOH).
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 24, 2013, 3:54 PM
    • Healthcare is no longer the best performing sector of the year, MarketWatch's Wallace Witkowski notes.
    • The S&P 500 health care index fell slightly behind the consumer discretionary index today in terms of YTD returns (32% versus 32.5%).
    • Healthcare ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 22, 2013, 1:25 PM
    • The mutual fund giant greatly boosts its ETF presence, rolling out 10 sector ETFs on Thursday, with BlackRock (BLK) - whose iShares has its own suite of sector ETFs - as the funds' sub-advisor. State Street (STT), though, is better-known for its sector offerings. Launching on Thursday - and popular existing State Street SPDR ETFs they'll be competing with:
    • Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (FSTA) - XLP.
    • Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF (FDIS) - XLY.
    • Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (FENY) - XLE.
    • Fidelity MSCI Financials Index ETF (FNCL) - XLF.
    • Fidelity MSCI Health Care Index ETF (FHLC) - XLV.
    • Fidelity MSCI Industrials Index ETF (FIDU) - XLI.
    • Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC) - XLK.
    • Fidelity MSCI Materials Index ETF (FMAT) - XLB.
    • Fidelity MSCI Telecommunications Services Index ETF (FCOM) - XTL.
    • Fidelity MSCI Utilities Index ETF (FUTY) - XLU.
    | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 20, 2013, 3:46 AM
    • Health-insurance exchanges have reportedly received 476,000 applications for coverage, White House officials have said, although they wouldn't say how many people have received coverage.
    • It's not certain whether the Obamacare program is on course to enroll 7M people within the six-month sign-up period, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office
    • The Web sites of the exchanges have been hit with numerous technical problems that have prevented people from buying coverage and caused health insurers to receive inaccurate information.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 3 Comments
  • Oct. 18, 2013, 4:36 AM
    • The technology problems afflicting the roll-out of health-insurance exchanges seem to be even worse than thought, with insurers saying that the marketplaces are generating incorrect information.
    • "Errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations," the WSJ writes.
    • The problems are damaging the ability of insurers to process even the small numbers of people who have signed up. "The longer this takes to resolve...the harder it will be to get people to (come back and) sign up," said Aetna (AET) CEO Mark Bertolini.
    • Other firms that could be affected include UnitedHealth (UNH), WellPoint (WLP), Humana (HUM) and Molina Healthcare (MOH).
    • The IT contractors involved include IBM (IBM), Infosys (INFY) and CGI Group (GIB).
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    | 11 Comments
  • Oct. 16, 2013, 3:21 PM
    • It's a good year for large-cap core mutual funds, with 46% beating the S&P 500 vs. a 10-year average of just 36%, according to Goldman Sachs.
    • The study finds most are overweight health care (XLV), which not coincidentally happens to be the best-performing sector this year, up 30%.
    • The funds are most underweight utilities (XLU), which just happen to be the second worst-performing sector YTD, up 10%. Only telecoms have done worse.
    • Chasing performance? May be, but the team finds the funds have tended to be present in the good performers for the last 12 months, and have retreated from discretionary stocks (XLY) of late despite their outperformance.
    • Individual names? CVS Caremark (CVS), JPMorgan (JPM), and Cisco (CSCO) are the stocks liked the most vs. the benchmark.
    • Health care ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS.
    • Utility ETFs: IDU, PUI, XLU, VPU, RYU, FXU, PSCU, UPW, SDP, UTLT.
    | Comment!
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XLV Description
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Health Care Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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Sector: Healthcare
Country: United States
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