Anthem Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc., iShares Dow Jones US Health Care(ETF): Healthcare Stocks To Watch

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May 20, 2015 11:12am NYSE:IHF

buyers and sellersKeith Fitz-Gerald: Few investors realize it, but we are on the precipice of an Obamacare “nightmare” event.

According to Money Morning‘s Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, this event could throw one-sixth of the world’s economy into chaos.

healthcare stocks

But for savvy investors, this event doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, Fitz-Gerald is recommending three healthcare stocks that could return big profits as a result of what’s ahead.

“As an investor, you’ll absolutely want to be ready for what happens next,” Fitz-Gerald said last week.

Let’s take a look at why June 2015 is a huge month for Obamacare – and for these healthcare stocks…

The Upcoming Obamacare “Nightmare” Event

By upholding individual mandate of the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA) two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that most Americans must obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. This created an influx of new people to the healthcare system, and allowed for significantly lower premiums.

But according to Fitz-Gerald, there is a major weak point that is about to be exposed…

“Here’s what you need to know – millions of people who would be required to buy health insurance couldn’t afford to do so,” Fitz-Gerald said. “They still can’t. So Obamacare’s drafters included subsidies in the law, allowing millions of poorer Americans to gain insurance and avoid the hefty fines Obamacare would have otherwise dealt them.”

But when drafting the law, the authors only granted subsidies to healthcare exchanges established “by the state.”

More than 20 states – including Texas and Florida – boycotted the exchanges. Individuals in those states had to rely on federal exchanges.

But now there is a Supreme Court Case, King v. Burwell, that’s determining whether these federal subsidies apply in states without state exchanges. The case will likely be resolved in late June.

Now, here’s where the “nightmare” scenario kicks in…

If it’s determined the subsidies don’t apply, millions of healthy Americans will forego insurance. Premiums would skyrocket for those depending on Obamacare. Fitz-Gerald said the whole AHA could unravel.

“Capitalism being what it is, those same higher prices will, in turn, drive out larger numbers of healthy people, until only the sickest, oldest Americans are left,” he said. “When you hear the words, ‘death spiral’ and ‘health insurance’ in the same sentence, this is what they’re talking about,” Fitz-Gerald said.

“It’s the nightmare scenario, and it’s only held off so far because the incentives and penalties have forced millions of healthy people to join the exchanges and help pull down costs.”

And this won’t just impact individuals.

Before Obamacare, hospitals provided $41 billion in uncompensated care from their emergency rooms. But now that millions of new Americans are receiving subsidized insurance, these hospitals are shelling out much less money.

Insurance companies have benefitted too from the flood of new customers.

If the nightmare scenario comes to fruition, we could see a major slump in healthcare stocks. And that would create what Fitz-Gerald describes as a “legendary buying opportunity.”

While researching this scenario for his readers, Fitz-Gerald actually found three profit opportunities. These healthcare stocks to buy will give you an edge over the millions of other investors who will be caught off guard…

Healthcare Stocks to Lowball No. 1: iShares U.S. Healthcare Provider (NYSE: IHF)

Fitz-Gerald’s first pick is the ETF iShares U.S. Healthcare Provider (NYSEArca: IHF).

IHF invests heavily in health insurance companies, and has seen its price soar 174% in the last five years. In 2015, it has climbed nearly 15%.

“If the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies that are so vital to Obamacare’s survival, a myriad of companies IHF tracks will see haircuts in the market capitalization, and the ETF will suffer,” Fitz-Gerald said. “In fact, it’s even more likely to suffer than most individual healthcare companies, since its exposure is more widespread.”

Fitz-Gerald sees a scenario where IHF drops 20% after the Supreme Court decision in June. If that happens, investors will be able to pick up shares of IHF at a huge discount.

Fitz-Gerald also thinks that a negative Supreme Court ruling would only be a short-term problem for IHF. In his words, “there’s no derailing the medicine train for long.”

He recommends entering a lowball order to buy IHF at $102.30 or less. As always, he recommends a 25% trailing stop.

Healthcare Stocks to Lowball No. 2: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH)

Fitz-Gerald’s second healthcare stock to buy, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), could have the most riding on the Supreme Court decision of any health insurer.

“The $10.7 billion company is so dependent on the survival of Obamacare that it even sent in a team of experts to help with website design when the national health exchanges debuted to a disastrous website launch in late 2013,” Fitz-Gerald said. “Its leadership was terrified that the law which featured so rosily into their business models might not survive.”

Last year, UNH’s revenue hit $130.5 billion. That was a 7% increase from 2013. Growth continued into 2015. In Q1 revenue was up 11.5% from the previous year to $32.6 billion.

UNH stock has soared as well. In the last 12 months, it’s up 56.3%. In the last five years it is up 297%.

“The improvement can be traced back to the 1.6 million enrollments that UNH announced it snagged year-over-year in its Q1/2015 earnings report,” Fitz-Gerald explained. “That’s a major expansion of its customer base, for which it can thank the authors of Obamacare, and the individual mandate in particular.”

The Supreme Court ruling could spur a correction in this healthcare stock, but Fitz-Gerald says it’s a strong enough company to survive any AHA changes. He recommends a lowball order at $85.20 or lower with a 25% trailing stop.

Healthcare Stocks to Lowball No. 3: Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM)

Fitz-Gerald’s third pick is America’s second-largest health insurer Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM). In 2014, ANTM had 1.8 million new enrollees. More than 800,000 of those were a result of Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid program.

Recently, CEO Joe Swedish announced that he will be doubling the company’s advertising budget in states with expanded Medicaid.

“If Obamacare unravels, Anthem’s expanded Medicaid program will collapse alongside it – and that would mean a harsh correction for the company’s stock,” Fitz-Gerald said. “But like UNH, it has the resources to withstand the shock, having reported $21.5 billion cash-on-hand in its last quarterly report, according to Yahoo! Finance.”

ANTM has gained 55% in the last year and 211% in the last five. It now trades over $165 per share.

Fitz-Gerald recommends a lowball order at $116.25 or lower with a 25% trailing stop.

“Profitable investments are not about politics or philosophy,” Fitz-Gerald. “But they are absolutely about the historic wealth transfer that is inevitably created with the two collide.”

The Bottom Line: We’re on the precipice of a Supreme Court ruling that could be the Obamacare “nightmare” scenario that could send premiums skyrocketing. And if that happens, investors can expect a major pullback from healthcare stocks. But this isn’t a time to panic; it’s a time to scoop up strong healthcare stocks at a discount. Fitz-Gerald’s three picks are IHF, UNH, and ANTM.

Money MorningWritten By Keith Fitz-Gerald From Money Morning

We’re in the midst of the greatest investing boom in almost 60 years. And rest assured – this boom is not about to end anytime soon. You see, the flattening of the world continues to spawn new markets worth trillions of dollars; new customers that measure in the billions; an insatiable global demand for basic resources that’s growing exponentially; and a technological revolution even in the most distant markets on the planet.And Money Morning is here to help investors profit handsomely on this seismic shift in the global economy. In fact, we believe this is where the only real fortunes will be made in the months and years to come.

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