NU Online News Service, Sept. 12, 11:13 a.m. – Aetna, Hartford, Conn., issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s terrorist attacks against the Manhattan World Trade Center complex, the Pentagon, U.S. airliners and other U.S. targets.

Aetna is taking steps to bolster business operations so that we can assure our health, life, accidental death and dismemberment and disability insurance customers of continued service throughout this extremely difficult time.

All of us at Aetna are greatly saddened, and our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

Aetna has assembled special teams and added resources within our service centers to answer members’ questions and expedite benefit payments.

Special points of contact are being established for all New York and Washington, D.C., hospitals. These will be communicated directly to the hospitals.

Aetna U.S. Healthcare members should call the Member Services telephone number listed on their member identification cards for assistance with medical benefits.

If their ID cards have been misplaced, they may call 1-800-USAETNA (1-800-872-3862) for assistance. Aetna Life or Disability members or customers can reach customer service representatives by calling the following toll-free numbers: Life – 1-800-523-5065; Disability – 1-888-656-3338.

The life insurance customer service center and the four health service centers that handle most of the calls and claims from New York and Washington, D.C., will have extended hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Most life and AD&D insurance claims will be processed within 48 hours.