SPRINGFIELD — A program that offers free life insurance policies to low-income residents is looking for more applicants. Free life insurance.
"A lot of people hear the word free and automatically they think there is a catch or some fine print," said Cindie St. George, director of the LifeBridge program created by MassMutual Financial Group. " This is truly free life insurance for families who desperately need it."
Ten years ago the company created a program that would donate 20,000 $50,000 life insurance policies nationwide to low-income families. The policies last ten years and would go directly to the children of the deceased for educational costs.
So far close to 13,000 people have qualified for the insurance. The company would like to issue 20,000 policies by the end of the year.
Applicants must be between the ages of 19-42 and make between $10,000 and -$40,000 annually. They must have at least one child and be a legal resident of the U.S.
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"The money can only be used for educational purposes, whether it's to pay for college, tutoring for younger children, books and other school supplies," said Madeline Landrau, director of marketing, multicultural market development for MassMutual.
"You would think it would be really easy to give away life insurance, but it's not. People always assume we are trying to sell them some other type of insurance," St. George said. " There is no ulterior motive. All of the agents who work with the applicants do this for nothing in return."
St. George said many people call to find out about the insurance and even fill out the application, but just never return it.
Landrau said a recent case really hit close to home for the agents.
Jessica Rojas, a 25-year-old mother of four who was killed outside her Plainfield Street home last year, had the application for LifeBridge on her desk at work.
"It broke our hearts, because we could have been able to help those children with some of their schooling expenses," Landrau said.
New North Citizens Council will be hosting an open enrollment on May 8 at its 2383 Main St. office. To make an appointment or to set up an appointment for another day call Landrau at (413))744-6525.
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