Medicare Advantage Companies Witness Large Growth in 2011

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Although the stock markets have fluctuated wildly for many investors, some of the top stocks in 2011 belonged to Medicare Advantage health insurers, according to a CNN report.

WellCare Health Plans, Humana and Centene all have a high population of Medicare Advantage members, and all have seen large gains this year. Humana and Centene's stocks are up roughly 50 percent, while WellCare's share price has almost doubled, according to the report. UnitedHealth Group and Aetna also saw 35 percent increases in their stocks this year.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare Advantage plans cost taxpayers 10 percent more than traditional Medicare due to the hospital and physician restrictions associated with Medicare Advantage. Some analysts say the large profits in Medicare Advantage insurers may be coming at the expense of more debt toward the United States' overall rising healthcare costs.

Related Articles on Medicare Advantage:

Sen. Ron Wyden, Rep. Paul Ryan Introduce New Plan for Medicare

UnitedHealthcare to Acquire Medicare Advantage Group XLHealth

Cigna to Offer 15M Shares to Help Fund HealthSpring Purchase

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