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MassMutual to Give $3 Billion in Life Insurance to Health Care Workers

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Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is starting a $3 billion life insurance aid program for health care workers in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The new MassMutual HealthBridge program will provide up to $25,000 in free, three-year term life insurance coverage for active employees of licensed hospitals, urgent care centers, or emergency medical services providers with jobs that involve occupational exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

(Related: LifeBridge: 10 Years of Insuring Low-Income Families)

Health care workers can apply for the coverage by filling out an application in the program website and uploading proof of employment.

The program is an extension of MassMutual’s LifeBridge program, which provides term life insurance for low-income parents.

MassMutual plans to begin taking applications for the program by the end of April.

More information is available here.

In other COVID-19-related announcements:

RIP Medical Debt has started a fund that will buy back and cancel the pre-existing medical debt owed by nurses, home health aides, pharmacists, social workers and others who are fighting COVID-19.

The New York-based nonprofit will use contributions to the fund to identify, buy and abolish the debts.

More information about the fund is available here.

GoodRx has set up an online telehealth services catalog.

People who are sheltering in place at home can use the exchange to shop for telehealth services, such as help with conditions such as flu or the acne, from many providers.

The menu of providers includes MDLive, HealthTap and Teladoc.

The telehealth services catalog is available here.

Zurich North America has developed a product that employers can use to provide cash benefits for eligible employees who are hospitalized for more than five consecutive days with COVID-19.

Any profits from the product will go to hunger relief charities, the insurer says.

Zurich has structured the products as a surplus lines policy. It’s offering the product to employers with 5,000 or more eligible employees in most industries.

The policy can pay an eligible insured worker up to $4,000 in benefits, on top of what the worker might get from the employer’s health plan, the employer’s disability plan, and any hospital indemnity insurance policies.

The employer will act as the policyholder, pay the cash benefits to the eligible employees, and then submit claims to Zurich for reimbursement, the company says.

The company says interested employers should talk to their insurance brokers or to their Zurich representatives.

An arm of Prudential PLC — the London-based parent of Jackson — is working with other organizations to support Project Screen by Circle, a large-scale SARS-CoV-2 testing program in Hong Kong.

The program will use screening test services from Prenetics, a genetic testing company in Hong Kong, to provide SARS-CoV-2 testing for about 100,000 people in Hong Kong, at the patients’ homes.

The tests will cost the equivalent of about $127 each, and Prudential will pay a subsidy of about $39 each for 30,000 health care workers, program organizers say.

The Prudential subsidy will cut the cost of testing to about $88 for health care workers.

The program should be able to process tests for about 3,000 per day, organizers say.

The program will also pay Stephen Tsui, a researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, to work with Prenetics to come up with complete sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

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