Investors want to see whether Aetna Inc. can turn in a strong second-quarter performance of its own Tuesday following good results from the country's other biggest health insurers.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Hartford, Conn., company is the third-largest health insurer based on enrollment. The two companies ahead of it — UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. — have already reported second-quarter earnings that trounced expectations. Their recent performances gave a boost to other health insurance stocks, but Aetna shares already had a lot of momentum — it's up about 42 percent in 2013.

Investors have gobbled up health insurance shares this year. Analysts say they're growing more comfortable with the health care overhaul's impact on the sector.

The federal law aims to expand insurance coverage to millions of people over the next few years. Much of that growth starts next year, when the state and federally funded Medicaid program for the poor and disabled people expands and customers start using income-based subsidies to buy individual coverage through insurance exchanges.

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