UnitedHealth Group Inc. has warned that government funding cuts will make it hard to hit the top end of its 2013 earnings forecast. Investors will want to know if that warning still stands when the nation's largest health insurer reports second-quarter results Thursday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said in April that reimbursement cuts to the government's Medicare Advantage program amounted to "a significantly greater rate setback than anyone could have expected," and they will present a challenge to the company this year and next.

UnitedHealth is the nation's largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, which offer government-subsidized coverage for elderly and disabled people. The insurer has nearly 2.9 million people enrolled in the plans, and they brought in about 20 percent of its revenue last year.

Funding for Medicare Advantage plans will be cut as part of the health care overhaul, which aims to provide insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The plans also took a hit earlier this year from other federal budget cuts.

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