This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Health Insurance Stocks For a Republican Win

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors busy assessing how the state of the global economy will affect their stock portfolios should start thinking about how the presidential race will weigh in.

In particular, investors may want to look at how to play the health insurance space.

Health care remains a subject of divide between the two parties, with Republicans trying to repeal Obama's nationwide health care reform since 2010. And, while it is unlikely they can overturn the entire law, they can certainly chip away at parts of it.

If Republicans take control, Citigroup estimates that large commercial providers of health insurance plans may see their earnings grow by 5% to 10%. That kind of growth would increase these companies' worth by 20%. The companies are currently estimated to see a 5% to 15% drop in earnings, according to a recent analyst report by the firm.

Within the broader managed care sector, which includes commercials plans, and Medicaid and Medicare plans, Citigroup says that valuations on most stocks should tack on at least an additional 2 multiple points. If a Republican fails to win the presidential seat but the party gains control of the senate, the valuation of the group would add up to one point.

This is all good if Republicans make a sweeping win, but what if President Obama takes office for second term? Even then, investors may benefit yet.

"The market seems to be discounting maintenance of the political status quo," writes Citigroup, which estimates that managed care stocks are trading under the 9.5x 2012 earnings estimates.

Investors may want to skew their picks toward companies providing commercial plans. Under a Republican victory, Citigroup says stocks that would benefit most in this category rank in the following order: WellPoint (WLP), Coventry Health Care (CVH), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), CIGNA (CI) and Health Net (HNT).

For Medicare plans, the firm picks Humana (HUM), HealthSpring (HS), Universal American (UAM) and WellCare (WCG). All these companies provide elderly with Medicare through private health insurance plans called Medicare Advantage.

The idea behind investing in the above Medicare plans is that Republicans have historically encouraged seniors to enroll in Medicare Advantage programs. In addition, Citigroup notes that Republicans have been willing to give the programs a fair reimbursement. By contrast, under Obama's reform, government subsidies to the Medicare Advantage program would be gradually eliminated altogether.

On the Medicaid end of the spectrum, stocks are a tougher pick. Republicans might impact Medicaid in two ways:

The Medicaid market is expected to increase by around 30% in 2014, according to Citigroup. But, Republicans may try to do away with this expansion and cut back the money that states use to fund Medicaid programs. A company like AMERIGROUP (AGP), with a $3.3 billion market cap, for example would lose a whopping $2.5 billion in revenue, according to Citigroup.

Even so, Citigroup say that Medicaid companies would still prefer a Republican administration to a Democratic one. "Republicans are much more philosophically aligned with moving the care of the dual eligibles into managed care organizations," writes the firm.

What that means is that that those qualifying for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits maybe more inclined to find Medicaid programs under a Republican administration. According to analysts' estimates, that opportunity would deliver more than $320 billion in revenue per year for Medicaid managed care providers. By contrast, Medicaid revenue would only add over $40 billion without dual eligibility.

The bottom line is: Keep an eye on opportunities within health insurance providers, particularly commercial providers, if you believe Republicans will win the election this year. But if you believe otherwise, the space is still worth your consideration.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Chao Deng.

Readers Also Like:


Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,979.07 -104.73 -0.61%
S&P 500 1,982.98 -5.00 -0.25%
NASDAQ 4,456.8320 -15.2760 -0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs