Health Care Sector: Overview and Funds

Included in the health care sector are companies that provide health care supplies and services and companies that research or produce health care products. Examples of these health care companies and organizations are hospitals, managed health care organizations, health care technology consulting firms, pharmaceutical companies and life sciences companies. The two major industry groups within health care are health care equipment and services and pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and life sciences.

Health Care Equipment and Services

This industry group includes companies that provide equipment, supplies or technology for health care purposes. This industry group also includes health care providers. Health care providers include hospitals, managed health care organizations and companies that provide support services, such as payroll and billing, for health care facilities. Health care technology includes companies that provide technology consulting or software applications specifically tailored to the health care industry.

IndustrySub-IndustryDescription
Health Care Equipment & Supplies Health Care Equipment Companies that make health care equipment and devices. This includes companies that make medical instruments, orthopedic devices and diagnostic equipment. Examples of health care equipment include x-ray machines, MRI machines and dialysis machines.
Health Care Supplies Companies that make health care supplies and medical products and that are not classified elsewhere, such as companies that produce eye care products, hospital supplies and syringes/needles.
Health Care Providers & Services Health Care Distributors Companies that distribute and wholesale health care products, but do not produce these products or sell them directly to consumers.
Health Care Services Companies that provide patient health services, such as dialysis centers, lab testing and pharmacy management. This also includes companies that provide support services to health care providers, including staffing, outsourcing, clerical services, marketing and sales and debt collection.
Health Care Facilities Health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers and animal hospitals.
Managed Health Care Companies that operate Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and other managed health care plans. An HMO plan offers health care coverage to its member through a network of health care providers, such as doctors and hospitals.
Health Care Technology Health Care Technology Companies that provide information technology (IT) services to health care providers, including software, systems, IT consulting and internet applications.

Examples of companies that provide health care equipment and services include Aetna, Boston Scientific, McKesson, Cerner, Humana and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences

Companies within this industry group develop genetic therapy products, such as genetic engineering; research or produce pharmaceutical drugs for a variety of illnesses or conditions or provide services and supplies, such as clinical trials or research, for other biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

IndustrySub-IndustryDescription
Biotechnology Biotechnology Companies that research, develop or market genetic analysis or genetic engineering products. This includes companies that provide protein-based therapies to treat diseases, such as cancer or diabetes. Protein therapy is similar to gene therapy, and it works by delivering specific amounts of proteins to the body of patients that lack the correct amounts due to illness.
Pharmaceuticals Pharmaceuticals Companies that research, develop or produce pharmaceutical drugs, including veterinary drugs.
Life Sciences Tools & Services Life Sciences Tools & Services Companies that provide analytical tools, supplies, clinical trial services and research services for other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies.

Examples of companies in this industry include Merck, Pfizer, Amgen, Gilead Sciences and Allergan.

Health Care Sector ETFs and Mutual Funds

Listed below are over 130 mutual funds, index funds and ETFs that track the health care industry or specific sub-industries, such as medical equipment or biotechnology. A majority of the funds track globally or within the United States, and their expense ratios vary from 0.09% to 2.81%.

NameSymbolExpense Ratio
Vanguard Health Care ETF VHT 0.09%
Vanguard Health Care Index Fund Admiral Shares VHCIX 0.10%
Fidelity MSCI Health Care Index ETF FHLC 0.12%
Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF XLV 0.14%
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Health Care ETF PSCH 0.29%
Vanguard Health Care Admiral Shares VGHAX 0.29%
Vanguard Health Care Investor Class VGHCX 0.34%
SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI 0.35%
Market Vectors Biotech ETF BBH 0.35%
SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF XPH 0.35%
Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF PPH 0.35%
SPDR S&P Health Care Services ETF XHS 0.35%
SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment ETF XHE 0.35%
Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Health Care ETF RYH 0.40%
SPDR S&P International Health Care Sector ETF IRY 0.40%
iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF IYH 0.43%
iShares U.S. Medical Devices ETF IHI 0.43%
iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF IHE 0.43%
iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF IHF 0.43%
Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 1X ETF LABS 0.46%
iShares Global Healthcare ETF IXJ 0.47%
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology IBB 0.48%
WisdomTree Japan Hedged Health Care ETF DXJH 0.48%
ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF SBIO 0.50%
John Hancock Multifactor Health Care ETF JHMH 0.50%
Market Vectors Generic Drugs ETF GNRX 0.55%
PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF PJP 0.56%
PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome ETF PBE 0.57%
First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology ETF FBT 0.58%
PowerShares DWA Healthcare Momentum PTH 0.60%
Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund Class R6 FRBRX 0.60%
First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX ETF FXH 0.62%
Fidelity® Select Biotechnology FBIOX 0.74%
Fidelity® Select Health Care FSPHX 0.74%
Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund Class Q PHLQX 0.74%
Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Advisor Class FTDZX 0.75%
T. Rowe Price Health Sciences PRHSX 0.76%
Fidelity Advisor® Biotechnology Fund Class I FBTIX 0.77%
Fidelity® Select Medical Equipment & Systems FSMEX 0.77%
Fidelity Advisor® Health Care Fund Class I FHCIX 0.78%
Janus Global Life Sciences Fund Class I JFNIX 0.78%
Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF CNCR 0.79%
Fidelity® Select Pharmaceuticals Portfolio FPHAX 0.79%
Fidelity® Select Health Care Services Portfolio FSHCX 0.79%
Invesco Global Health Care Fund Class Y GGHYX 0.79%
Schwab Health Care SWHFX 0.79%
Direxion Daily Pharmaceutical & Medical Bear 2X ETF PILS 0.81%
Direxion Daily Pharmaceutical & Medical Bull 2X ETF PILL 0.81%
Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund Class Z PHSZX 0.83%
BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials ETF BBC 0.85%
Janus Global Life Sciences Fund Class D JNGLX 0.85%
Putnam Global Health Care Fund Class Y PHSYX 0.85%
BioShares Biotechnology Products ETF BBP 0.86%
Hartford Healthcare HLS Fund Class IA HIAHX 0.86%
BlackRock Health Sciences Opportunities Institutional Class SHSSX 0.88%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class Y HGHYX 0.90%
ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology BIB 0.95%
ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology BIS 0.95%
ProShares Ultra Health Care RXL 0.95%
ProShares UltraPro Nasdaq Biotechnology UBIO 0.95%
ProShares UltraPro Short Nasdaq Biotechnology ZBIO 0.95%
ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector ETF ARKG 0.95%
ProShares UltraShort Health Care RXD 0.95%
Janus Global Life Sciences Fund Class T JAGLX 0.95%
Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X ETF LABD 0.96%
Direxion Daily Healthcare Bear 3X ETF SICK 0.96%
Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bull 3X ETF LABU 0.97%
Direxion Daily Healthcare Bull 3X ETF CURE 1.00%
Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund Class A FBDIX 1.00%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class I HGHIX 1.01%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class R5 HGHTX 1.01%
Fidelity Advisor® Health Care Fund Class A FACDX 1.04%
Fidelity Advisor® Biotechnology Fund Class A FBTAX 1.04%
Invesco Global Health Care Fund Class A GGHCX 1.04%
Invesco Global Health Care Investor Class GTHIX 1.04%
Janus Global Life Sciences Fund Class A JFNAX 1.04%
Alger Health Sciences Fund Class Z AHSZX 1.08%
Live Oak Health Sciences LOGSX 1.08%
Deutsche Health and Wellness Fund Class S SCHLX 1.08%
VALIC Company I Health Sciences VCHSX 1.09%
AllianzGI Health Sciences Institutional Class HLHIX 1.10%
Putnam Global Health Care Fund Class A PHSTX 1.10%
Deutsche Health and Wellness Institutional Class SUHIX 1.10%
Delaware Healthcare Fund Class I DLHIX 1.11%
Hartford Healthcare HLS Fund Class IB HBGHX 1.11%
Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund Class A PHLAX 1.13%
Janus Global Life Sciences Fund Class S JFNSX 1.15%
BlackRock Health Sciences Opportunities Service Class SHISX 1.15%
BlackRock Health Sciences Opportunities Investor A Shares SHSAX 1.15%
Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund Class I EIHSX 1.19%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class A HGHAX 1.28%
Fidelity Advisor® Health Care Fund Class T FACTX 1.30%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class R4 HGHSX 1.30%
Alger Health Sciences Fund Class A AHSAX 1.31%
Eventide Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund Class I ETIHX 1.33%
Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund Class R PJHRX 1.33%
Rydex Biotechnology Investor Class RYOIX 1.33%
Fidelity Advisor® Biotechnology Fund Class T FBTTX 1.34%
Rydex Health Care Investor Class RYHIX 1.34%
Putnam Global Health Care Fund Class R PHSRX 1.35%
Deutsche Health and Wellness Fund Class A SUHAX 1.35%
Delaware Healthcare Fund Class A DLHAX 1.36%
ICON Healthcare Fund Class S ICHCX 1.36%
Kinetics Medical No Load MEDRX 1.39%
Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund Class A ETHSX 1.44%
BlackRock Health Sciences Opportunities Fund Class R BHSRX 1.45%
AllianzGI Health Sciences Fund Class A RAGHX 1.46%
Eventide Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund Class N ETNHX 1.53%
Eventide Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund Class A ETAHX 1.58%
Rydex Biotechnology Fund Class A RYBOX 1.58%
Rydex Health Care Fund Class A RYHEX 1.59%
Putnam Global Health Care Fund Class M PHLMX 1.60%
Delaware Healthcare Fund Class R DLRHX 1.61%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class R3 HGHRX 1.61%
ICON Healthcare Fund Class A ICHAX 1.62%
Kinetics Medical Fund Advisor Class A KRXAX 1.64%
Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund Class R ERHSX 1.69%
Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund Class C FBTDX 1.75%
Janus Global Life Sciences Fund Class C JFNCX 1.76%
Fidelity Advisor® Biotechnology Fund Class C FBTCX 1.79%
Fidelity Advisor® Health Care Fund Class C FHCCX 1.79%
Invesco Global Health Care Fund Class B GTHBX 1.79%
Invesco Global Health Care Fund Class C GTHCX 1.79%
Saratoga Health & Biotechnology Fund Class I SBHIX 1.81%
Fidelity Advisor® Biotechnology Fund Class B FBTBX 1.82%
Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund Class B PHLBX 1.83%
Prudential Jennison Health Sciences Fund Class C PHLCX 1.83%
Rydex Biotechnology Fund Class H RYOAX 1.83%
Fidelity Advisor® Health Care Fund Class B FAHTX 1.85%
Putnam Global Health Care Fund Class C PCHSX 1.85%
Putnam Global Health Care Fund Class B PHSBX 1.85%
Rydex Health Care Fund Class H RYHAX 1.85%
BlackRock Health Sciences Opportunities Investor C Shares SHSCX 1.87%
BlackRock Health Sciences Opportunities Investor B Shares SHSPX 1.95%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class C HGHCX 2.02%
Alger Health Sciences Fund Class C AHSCX 2.08%
Alger Health Sciences Fund Class B AHSBX 2.09%
Deutsche Health and Wellness Fund Class C SUHCX 2.09%
Delaware Healthcare Fund Class C DLHCX 2.11%
Kinetics Medical Fund Advisor Class C KRXCX 2.14%
Hartford Healthcare Fund Class B HGHBX 2.15%
Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund Class C ECHSX 2.19%
Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund Class B EMHSX 2.20%
AllianzGI Health Sciences Fund Class C RCGHX 2.21%
Saratoga Health & Biotechnology Fund Class A SHPAX 2.22%
Eventide Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund Class C ETCHX 2.33%
Rydex Biotechnology Fund Class C RYCFX 2.33%
Rydex Health Care Fund Class C RYHCX 2.34%
Saratoga Health & Biotechnology Fund Class C SHPCX 2.81%

When you purchase shares of a fund, it’s important to do research on the fund. You should look at the fund’s underlying components, historical returns, loads and charges, and investment strategy of the fund. You should also consider how the fund will fit into your existing investment portfolio.

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