Thursday AM September 17th, 2009

An insurance company has written a half-billion dollars in free life insurance for people with limited financial means. The idea is to provide a way to pay for the education of surviving children, as Ed Mayberry reports.

MassMutual hopes to give away a total of $1 billion of term life insurance, all with benefits providing surviving children with an education if an insured parent dies during the term of the policy.  The program is designed for single-parent homes or low-income families — maybe those with disabled persons — but MassMutual's Mariana Ruiz-Posada says it can help businesses.   

"Really, this pertains to business owners who have employees that they cannot provide benefits for—any type of small business that they don't have a large array of benefits to provide their employees.  This is perfect.  They can give this to them and say, 'here, you should go and apply for this, it's for your, benefit of your children.'  So they are the ones that need to help us get the word out to the community."   

Ruiz-Posada says this is a way for MassMutual to tie its philanthropic focus of education with its primary product of life insurance.

"Well, it would be a lot easier to just write out a check.  But we wanted to find a way in our philanthropic efforts that we could tie our gifting to the main product that we can provide to families, for children to improve on their education."

MassMutual's Ronni Stevens says applicants must be legal guardians of one or more dependent children.

"You have to be between the ages of 19 and 42.  You have to be currently employed — either full-time or part-time — and make between $10,000 and $40,000 a year."

An application meeting is set for October 3rd at Ripley House Community Center on Navigation.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, call MassMutual at 713-402-3849.


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Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...