Show Me State officials are ramping up a program that will enable holders of some private long term care insurance policies to coordinate benefits with Medicaid nursing home benefits.

Missouri will launch its Missouri Long-Term Care Partnership Program Aug. 1.

One program feature will allow holders of newer, recently purchased LTC insurance policies to exchange their plans for partnership plans.

Residents who bought LTC insurance policies that meet partnership program requirements before Feb. 8, 2006, can have the carriers add partnership benefits to their policies at no additional charge, officials say.

But Missouri insurance regulators note that producers in the state must make sure that a partnership program policy is suitable for a customer before telling the customer to exchange an existing policy for a partnership policy.

Producers who want to sell partnership policies in Missouri must get 8 hours of partnership program training.

The Missouri partnership program permits holders of partnership program policies to protect a dollar of assets for every dollar of qualified private LTC insurance benefits purchased, officials say.

In the past, Missouri residents had to spend all but $999.99 in assets before qualifying for Medicaid nursing home benefits.