John Hancock Life Insurance Company has started selling Florida long term care insurance policies that qualify for the Florida LTC partnership program.

The partnership program will permit consumers who buy and exhaust private LTC insurance benefits to keep more assets if they end up using Medicaid nursing home benefits.

In Florida, policyholders can protect one dollar in assets for each dollar of qualified private coverage purchased, according to Hancock, Boston, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto.

When Florida lawmakers set up the Florida partnership program, as permitted by a change in federal laws, they also created a new requirement that LTC insurance producers take an 8-hour certification course before Dec. 31, 2007, Hancock says.

Hancock is making training courses available to producers interested in selling the new Hancock partnership policies and other Hancock policies, the company says.