How healthy has Obamacare been for the major U.S. health insurance companies?

Aetna  (AET) , Anthem  (ANTM) - Get Report , Cigna (CI) - Get Report , Centene (CNC) - Get Report and UnitedHealth (UNH) - Get Report  all benefited from the federal Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, at least at first. But with open enrollment for 2016 coverage already underway, there are reports enrollments in the state- and federal-run health exchanges could be well below expectations primarily due to higher premiums.

Consumers aren't the only ones facing higher costs. UnitedHealth reduced its earnings guidance Thursday because of expected losses from the exchanges. TheStreet's Jim Cramer called those losses "staggering" and "damning" for the federal health insurance program because UnitedHealth is considering dropping Obamacare in 2017.

What does this mean for the other insurers and you as an investor? If UnitedHealth leaves and they remain, possibly more losses. The program could fail. The mergers that were prompted by the ACA could be in jeopardy. In July, Anthem agreed to buy Cigna for $48 billion while in October, Aetna shareholders approved the $37 billion acquisition of Humana (HUM) - Get Report .

For guidance, let's look at the technical charts.

Here's the daily chart for Aetna.


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Aetna closed at $99.89 Thursday, down 8.7% so far in the fourth quarter and up 12.5% year to date. However, shares are in bear market territory, 25.7% below the all-time high of $134.40 set on June 26.

The warning shown on the daily chart is Aetna is now below a "death cross" that formed Wednesday when the 50-day simple moving average at $110.87 declined below the 200-day simple moving average of $111.42, indicating that lower prices lie ahead.

Investors looking to buy Aetna should place a good till canceled limit order to purchase the stock if it drops to $64.20, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should place a good till canceled limit order to sell the stock if it rises to $116.16, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Here's the daily chart for Anthem.


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Anthem closed at $127.86 on Thursday, down 8.7% so far in the fourth quarter and up just 1.7% year to date. It, too, is in bear market territory, 26.3% below the all-time high of $173.59 set on June 22.

The stock has been under a "death cross" since Sept. 25 when the 50-day simple moving average, now at $141.26 first declined below the 200-day simple moving average, now at $150.90. The low set since this negative signal has been $126.25 set on Nov. 19.

Investors looking to buy Anthem should place a good till canceled limit order to purchase the stock if it drops to $121.43, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should place a good till canceled limit order to sell the stock if it rises to $142.55, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Here's the daily chart for Cigna.


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Cigna close of $127.83 on Thursday put it down 5.3% in the fourth quarter and up 24.2% year to date. The stock is in bear market territory, 25.1% below its June 26 all-time high of $170.68. Note that a "death cross" was confirmed on Nov. 18 when the 50-day simple moving average of $136.28 declined below the 200-day simple moving average of $136.80 indicating that lower prices lie ahead.

Investors looking to buy Cigna should place a good till canceled limit order to purchase the stock if it drops to $114.94, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should place a good till canceled limit order to sell the stock if it rises to $137.96, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Here's the daily chart for Centene.


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Centene had a close of $54.47 on Thursday, up 0.4% so far in the fourth quarter and up 4.9% year to date. It is in bear market territory, 34.4% below its all-time high of $83.00 set on July 2.

The stock has been under a "death cross" since Sept. 29 when the 50-day simple moving average, now at $58.88 first declined below the 200-day simple moving average, now at $66.35.

Investors looking to buy Centene should place a good till canceled limit order to purchase the stock if it drops to $36.70, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should place a good till canceled limit order to sell the stock if it rises to $63.18, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Here's the daily chart for UnitedHealth.


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UnitedHealth closed at $110.63 Thursday, down 4.6% so far in the fourth quarter and up 9.4% year to date. It is in correction territory, down 12.3% from its all-time high of $126.21 set on Aug, 18.

Note that the 50-day simple moving average at $117.90 is poised to trend below its 200-day simple moving average of $117.81 into a "death cross" pattern.

Investors looking to buy UnitedHealth should place a good till canceled limit order to purchase the stock if it drops to $108.54, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should place a good till canceled limit order to sell the stock if it rises to $123.15, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2015.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.