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5 Growth Stocks to Buy on High Obamacare Enrollment

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In another victory for President Obama, around six million people have signed up for health insurance coverage for next year on federal exchanges. Despite this announcement, criticism for Obama's signature reform measure continued to flow in from several quarters even as the run-up for the Presidential election continued over the weekend.

However, the success of the law since its launch underlines the bright prospects of the medical industry. This is why it continues to make sense to buy stocks from this sector, especially those which focus on new avenues of growth.

Signups Increase Year on Year

Enrollment for 2016 started in November and government officials claim that the current rate is an indicator of Obamacare's success. Speaking at a news conference on Friday, President Obama emphasized that new customers have increased by nearly one third compared to last year's figures. He said that a larger number of people signing up would continue to strengthen the system.

According to current estimates, the government believes more than 10 million individuals will enroll for paid coverage by the end of next year. The assumption being made here is that more enrollments will take place by Jan 31. Additionally, the six million accounted for does not include those whose coverage will be renewed automatically for next year as well as those who have signed up on the 38 state-run exchanges.

However, these numbers are still lower than the targets set by the creators of the law. Initially, nearly 20 million individuals were supposed to have signed up under the law at the end of 2016. As of Friday, officials were unwilling to comment on whether the current target of 10 million will undergo changes.

Are Premiums a Concern?

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has launched a strong defense in favor of the law. During last Saturday's Democratic debate, she described current problems with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as 'glitches,' most of which stem from GOP states unwilling to adopt it. Instead, Clinton emphasized the positive aspects of its implementation. She also outlined changes she proposed to enact if she is elected as the President.

While Obamacare premiums have increased, rising health care costs cannot be traced to the ACA alone. One argument focuses on the fact that both insurers as well as employers have been passing on most of the increase in costs to employees. According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the price of a benchmark silver plan for 2016 has increased by an average pace of 10.1%.

Impact of Wage Growth, Tax Credits

On the other hand, a report released this year by the Commonwealth Fund indicated that growth rates for premiums have declined in 31 states as well as the District of Columbia in comparison to those paid between 2003-2010. Employees were feeling the pinch because wage growth was occurring at a slower pace than the hike in premiums.

Additionally, those enrollees who were buying insurance for a family of four individuals and earned under $97,000 could avail tax credits. Ultimately, the impact of premium changes can be measured only when one takes into account state-wise enrollment data and tax credits.

Our Choices

Despite continuing criticism, there is little doubt that the ACA has widened health care access in the U.S. like never before. At this point, it is widely expected that GOP states that are yet to increase Medicaid access to economically disadvantaged individuals will also sign up soon.

This is why betting on healthcare as a growth option continues to be a wise move. This is particularly true for stocks focusing on new domains such as related software systems, gene and new generation therapies. Our selection is also backed by a good Zacks Growth Score and Zacks Rank.

We narrowed down our choices with the help of our new style score system .

Our research shows that stocks with a Growth Style Score of 'A' or 'B' when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) offer the best investment opportunities in the growth investing space.

Streamline Health Solutions, Inc.STRM is a leading supplier of workflow and document management tools, applications and services that assist strategic business partners and healthcare organizations to improve operational efficiencies through business process optimization.

Streamline Health Solutions holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has a Growth Style Score of 'A.' The company has expected earnings growth of 54.6% for the current year. The earnings estimate for the current year has increased by 17.3% over the last 30 days.

WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc.WGBS engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of systems for gene expression, genotyping, and stem cell research for the life sciences, pharmaceutical industries, biomarker discovery and diagnostic products industries.

WaferGen Bio-systems holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has a Growth Style Score of 'B.' The company has expected earnings growth of 40% for the current year. The earnings estimate for the current year has increased by 5.8% over the last 30 days.

HealthEquity, Inc.HQY offers solutions to empower consumers so that they can make prudent healthcare saving and spending decisions.

Apart from a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), HealthEquity has a Growth Style Score of 'B.' The company has expected earnings growth of 51.7% for the current year. The earnings estimate for the current year has increased by 5.7% over the last 30 days.

Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc.OCLS is a biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a family of products based upon the Microcyn Technology platform, which is intended to help prevent and treat infections in chronic and acute wounds.

Oculus Innovative Sciences holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has a Growth Style Score of 'A.' The company has expected earnings growth of 16.4% for the current year. The earnings estimate for the current year has increased by 4.9% over the last 30 days.

LeMaitre Vascular, Inc.LMAT is a leading global provider of innovative devices for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.

Apart from a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), LeMaitre Vascular has a Growth Style Score of 'A.' The company has expected earnings growth of 43.9% for the current year. The earnings estimate for the current year has increased by 3.3% over the last 30 days.

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STREAMLINE HLTH (STRM): Free Stock Analysis Report

LEMAITRE VASCLR (LMAT): Free Stock Analysis Report

OCULUS INNOVATV (OCLS): Free Stock Analysis Report

HEALTHEQUITY (HQY): Free Stock Analysis Report

WAFERGEN BIOSYS (WGBS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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