A managed care company says it has set aside more cash for investing in its own shares.

Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif., says its board has approved spending up to $250 million more on buying back shares of Health Net common stock.

The move would increase the total amount available for buying back shares to $346 million, the company says.

Health Net started its share repurchase program in May 2002 with an initial authorization of $250 million.

About a year ago, Health Net increased the size of the stock repurchase program to $450 million.

Health Net estimates it has spent a total of about $1 billion on buying back stock over the past 5 years.