NU Online News Service, Feb. 3, 2005, 3:31 p.m. EST

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., is adding another city to its LifeBridge initiative.[@@]

MassMutual is introducing the program, which provides $50,000 in free life insurance for eligible parents, in Houston.

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 the program in late 2002 and since then has given away about 3,000 free life insurance policies.

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.

J.K. McAndrews, a MassMutual agent in Houston, and other agency staff members are running the Houston section of the program.

Parents who want information about the program can call Susan Tasson at (713) 402-3832.