SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- Considering all the negative press about the insurance industry lately here’s a welcome surprise-an insurance company is giving away free life insurance policies to as many 20,000 lower-income parents to help their children get through school if the worst happens. Under the new LifeBridge Free Life Insurance Program, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company will provide up to a total of $1 billion in term life insurance coverage to help qualified parents protect their children’s education. MassMutual pays the premiums for all policies issued and there is no out-of-pocket cost to any covered insured or his/her children. If an insured parent dies during the 10-year term of the policy, the $50,000 death benefit will be applied to help cover school expenses, including books and tuition. To be eligible for the program, a parent must be between 19 and 39 years old and must also be entitled to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Parents also must be employed, with at least a two-year work history and be in good health. The program is being piloted in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina through the end of 2002. Plans are underway to roll it out across the nation beginning in 2003.

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