In view of research conducted last year, John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, has launched a new consumer website designed to help make long term care insurance planning easier.

The company said the website was developed to help consumers get facts they need quickly and easily. Web topics are said to include the average costs of care across the US, the need for LTCI, and an overview of policy benefits.

According to the company, by rolling over a state and clicking on the closest metropolitan area, consumers and producers will see 2005 cost of care averages for local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, and home health care agencies in more than 180 cities nationwide. The data is based on research commissioned by the company and conducted by global performance management company, Harris, Rothenberg International.

Laura Moore, senior vice president, John Hancock LTC Insurance said, As important as planning for long term care is, our findings show that consumers continue to be overwhelmed and confused by the issue. So we designed our new website, currently approved in 41 states, to present key long term care topics in clear and concise terms, featuring user-friendly interactive tools.