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Anthem extends 104,000 California policies

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A unit of WellPoint Inc. (NYSE:WLP) has agreed to a two-month extension for about 104,000 individual policies after failing to give the required 90-day cancellation notice.

The policies, issued by Anthem Blue Cross of California, had been set to expire Dec. 31. They will now be extended until Feb. 28.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced the extensions Tuesday. He said the company notified the Department of Insurance that it had failed to give enough notice because of a computer glitch.

Jones says more than 1 million cancellation notices have been sent to Californians. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is supposed to give individuals to buy insurance on a guaranteed-issue basis through exchanges.

In the past, California had let carriers in the individual market use medical underwriting and hold prices down by limiting benefits in ways that PPACA and state law will prohibit starting in 2014.

Last week, Blue Shield of California said it would extend 113,000 policies by an extra three months.

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