NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -07/02/12)- Shares of major health insurers took a hit last week after the Supreme Court surprisingly upheld the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," in a 5-4 vote last Thursday. Obamacare will be the first major overhaul of America's health-care system since the 1960s. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Health Care Plans Industry and provides equity research on WellPoint, Inc. (WLP) and CIGNA Corporation (CI).
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Under Obamacare every American will have to acquire health insurance by 2014 or be subjected to a tax. For those who can't afford health insurance they will be offered subsidies or Medicaid. It was estimated that in 2009 nearly 50 million Americans were without Health Insurance according to data from the Census Bureau. Stifel Nicolaus & Co analyst Thomas Carroll stated that the Obamacare decision was "bearish" for major health care insurers as companies will begin to see "additional people coming through a more regulated channel, thus driving lower margins."
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WellPoint recently announced it has completed their acquisition of 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. 1-800 CONTACTS is the largest direct-to-consumer retailer of contact lenses in the U.S. The company serves approximately 3.3 million customers. WellPoint announced it will release second quarter 2012 financial results on July 25, 2012.
Cigna recently announced that it has come to an agreement with Humana to purchase select Medicare Advantage plans in Texas and Arkansas. The plans in the three markets -- Amarillo, Longview-Marshall and Texarkana -- are part of a previously announced government-stipulated divestiture for Humana to complete its acquisition of Arcadian Health.
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