NU Online News Service, Oct. 20, 2003, 3:14 p.m. EDT – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., is including Rhode Island in a program that will provide $50,000 in free, 10-year, level-term life insurance coverage for 20,000 working parents between the ages of 19 and 42 in eligible communities.

Children of participating parents who die can use the proceeds to pay for almost any kind of formal schooling, including pre-school, elementary school, high school, vocational school, college and graduate school, MassMutual says.

MassMutual started offering the program in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina in late 2002. It branched out into Rhode Island, the Philadelphia area and two markets in Tennessee earlier this year. MassMutual plans to make the program available throughout the United States by the end of the year.

To qualify for the free coverage, parents must be permanent, legal U.S. residents in good health.

The parents must be working and show annual family incomes of $10,000 to $40,000 on their latest tax returns.

Legal guardians who meet the eligibility requirements can also apply for coverage.

Benefits will be paid to a trust administered by the MassMutual Trust Company F.S.B. on behalf of the children. The trust will make payments directly to the schools the children attend, MassMutual says.

Nicholas Lardieri and the staff of MassMutual’s agency in Providence are donating their time to offer the program locally.

Parents can get an eligibility form by calling (800) 272-2216.