NU Online News Service, July 12, 2004, 12:12 p.m. EDT

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., is including Syracuse, N.Y., in a program that provides $50,000 in free life insurance for working parents in eligible communities.[@@]

The program arranges 10-year, level-term life insurance coverage for working parents between the ages of 19 and 42. 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 LifeBridge program in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina in late 2002. It branched out into many other communities in 2003.

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 also can 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.

Evan Walker and the staff of Daystar Financial Group, Syracuse, are donating their time to run the Syracuse section of the program.

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