America’s Health Insurance Plans has launched a new training program to help qualify producers to sell long term care partnership policies.

The AHIP Center for Insurance Education and Professional Development, Washington, developed the program with the National Association of Health Underwriters, Arlington, Va., and the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, Falls Church, Va.

Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, carriers can offer partnership policies, which are tied to Medicaid, in states whose rules for selling such policies conform to requirements set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Part of those rules is that states must establish minimum training requirements for agents who sell the policies.

Currently, 5 states offer partnership programs and about another 15 are preparing to do so, according to Margie Barrie, a long term care insurance trainer who helped develop the training.

Most states expect to require at least 8 hours of training for agents to sell LTC partnership policies; and 1, Colorado, plans to require 16 hours of classroom instruction.

Barrie says AHIP’s long term care professional designation program meets the training requirements of most states that offer or plan to offer such programs.

The course provides 8 hours of continuing education credits along with mandatory testing, Barrie says.

The training can be taken as live instruction, self study or online audio and video learning sessions, according to Barrie, who is national marketing coordinator, Hagelman Barrie Sales Training Solutions, University Park, Fla.