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Aetna has set up a Web site and hot line to handle questions from health-benefit recipients worried about being among 35,000 people whose data was in a laptop computer stolen April 14.

About 2,700 of these people are engaged in overseas Department of Defense activities.

The Nonappropriated Fund employees whose data was stolen will be receiving letters from the insurer explaining ways they can minimize any damage in case their information is misused. Letters are being sent only to those whose data is known to have been on the laptop.

Those who haven’t received a letter yet can call 1-888-888-5724, a toll-free number set up for this issue.

Aetna representatives have lists of people whose information was known to be on the laptop, which was stolen from an employees car, said spokeswoman Cynthia Michener.

Only those DoD civilian NAF employees, retirees, and dependents enrolled in the DoD NAF Health Benefits Program medical (Preferred Provider or Indemnity) plan or dental plan administered by Aetna were affected, according to Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke. Those in other Aetna programs are not affected.

Affected NAF employees are being told to place an initial fraud alert on their credit file and are being offered the free use of credit monitoring services to quickly identify any potential misuse of their information.

Information about the data loss, placing a fraud alert and checking with a credit monitoring service is available at a password protected Web site, www.hbpanswers.com.

Passwords have been sent in the letters or are available to those affected by calling the customer service line.

Word of the data loss was trickling slowly through Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, on Friday.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation support services specialist Filomena Palumbo hadn’t heard about the loss until that afternoon.

“There’s quite a few NAF employees with Aetna as far as MWR’s concerned,” she said.

Michener said Thursday there is no evidence that any of the information has been misused to date, and that no personal banking information or health claim data was on the laptop.

The company has mailed three different letters: one for those whose information included their social security number, one for those whose information included health information, and one for those whose information contained both.

Naples MWR director Tony Smith said he’d first heard about the missing data in an e-mail Friday morning from the Navy’s MWR headquarters in Millington, Tenn.

“I’m concerned about it, without a doubt,” he said about the data loss.

A fraud alert tells creditors to contact the customer before any new accounts are opened, or changes are requested for existing accounts.

The three services Aetna recommends are:

Equifax: 877-478-7625; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com, P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790Michener said that customers should only contact one service, and the others will be notified.

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