NU Online News Service, Oct. 13, 2004, 5:30 p.m. EDT

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

The program supplies 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 in late 2002.

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.

Ralph Freibert, the manager of MassMutual’s general agency in New Orleans, and other agency staff members are running the New Orleans section of the program.

Parents and guardians can apply for policies Oct. 22 at application meetings at the James Singleton Charter School, 1924 Philip St., New Orleans.

Parents and guardians who want to schedule a meeting appointment should call Hashim Royal at (504) 310-0303.