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Some health insurers have been benefiting from a slowing growth rate in health care use, contributing to a stronger performance for the companies as they have reported improved earnings recently. Industry analysts are looking for any signs that the use rate is accelerating, which would result in a greater percentage of premiums going to pay medical claims.

Humana Inc. reported a slower rate of growth in health care use for its employer-based insurance plans in the first quarter. The company said Monday its first-quarter earnings also benefited by 31 cents per share because claims leftover from previous quarters came in lower than expected.

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