SafeLink Wireless® Raises Lifeline Offering - Up to 250 Minutes of Free Talk Time For Wisconsin's Eligible Low-Income Families

More Choices for Low-Income Families: Government-Supported Program Offering Free Monthly Talk Time and Free Wireless Cell Phone Now Has Multiple Plan Options

Aug 16, 2010, 13:18 ET from TracFone Wireless, Inc.

MADISON, Wis., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- America's number one prepaid cell phone provider, TracFone Wireless, Inc., announced that its federal Lifeline offering, SafeLink, will now offer participants of the program in Wisconsin the choice of three monthly plans, including up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time – nearly an hour more per month than is offered by any other competitor.  

The new choices made possible by TracFone give low-income families up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time and additional, flexible plan options give families the freedom to choose which plan is best suited for their needs to stay connected, stay safe.  Also, SafeLink is currently the only plan that gives eligible applicants the freedom to use their minutes for either texting or to make a phone call.  

Recognizing that Americans are still struggling through the worst economic recession in decades, SafeLink is renewing and further strengthening its commitment to low-income families by affording them the ability to stay connected with current or potential employers, children at home alone while their parents are at work, health care specialists, vital emergency responders, or relatives in time of personal emergencies, such as roadside vehicle breakdowns.

In addition to the free wireless cell phone customers receive at TracFone's expense, beginning August 16th, participants of the SafeLink Wireless program will have the choice of the following plans:  

  • New 250 free monthly non-carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
  • New 125 free monthly carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
  • 68 free monthly carryover minutes, 3 texts per each minute, International Long Distance to over 100 destinations and a free cellular handset.  

Wisconsin customers previously enjoyed a flat allotment of 60 free minutes per month.  The new plans ensure that SafeLink customers in the Badger State will see an increase no matter which option they choose.

In addition to the free monthly airtime minutes for one year, SafeLink offers superior coverage area throughout the United States; quality LG, Motorola, and Samsung cell phones; 411 at no additional cost; unlimited access to 911; and in-demand features: voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID.  

Mary Alvarez of Milwaukee, 55, is disabled and on a tight fixed-income with no room for a cell phone in her budget.  Every minute SafeLink Wireless provides she considers a gift.  She uses the phone to contact her doctors, whom she visits three times a month to treat her diabetes, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

"I can't move too fast due to my illnesses, so I always carry my phone in case I fall down," said Alvarez. "One night I actually fell in my restroom.  Luckily, I had my phone with me so I was able to call 911 for help."

"I feel a lot safer knowing that I'll have 250 minutes to use.  I think it's wonderful that I will have more time to use to communicate with my doctors."

In August 2008, TracFone was the first to modernize Lifeline for the way people communicate today with the creation of SafeLink. SafeLink is offered in 24 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with more than 547,300 households eligible for the service in Wisconsin.  

The prepaid feature gives customers the freedom to control the cost of their monthly telephone expense without any surprises. SafeLink customers wishing to use additional minutes beyond their free allotment can add minutes by purchasing TracFone airtime cards at local retailers.  As an exclusive benefit for SafeLink customers, SafeLink phones will automatically add bonus minutes to TracFone's 60, 90 and 120-minute airtime cards.  However, there is no requirement to purchase additional minutes and no pressure applied to applicants to do so at any time.

Program Eligibility

To qualify for Lifeline in the state of Wisconsin, a household must participate in one of the following:

  • Badger Care
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
  • Medical Assistance (MA)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • WI HomesteadTax Credit (Schedule H)
  • WisconsinWorks (W2)
  • Household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)

SOURCE TracFone Wireless, Inc.