Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

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Pennywise Pound Fool
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Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by Pennywise Pound Fool »

DH is turning 65 this year and it seems that every agent who sells Medicare supplemental plans knows it. Nearly every day for the last 6 months we have received mailings from insurance industry representatives offering Medicare "educational" classes, workshops with free meals, offers of plans, etc. I have requested that we be removed from their mailing lists, but the mail still keeps coming.

How is his age and mailing address so readily available to all of these insurance representatives?

Is there anything I can do to "lock down" my information before I approach 65 to avoid a repeat of this?
bombcar
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by bombcar »

There are some bulk mail opt out that may help, but I just consider it a subsidy for the USPS pension and toss them in recycling.
livesoft
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by livesoft »

No, there is nothing you can do. It's a small annoyance to help one celebrate that one almost made it to 65. Note that another smaller barrage will happen about each year after signing up because one has the opportunity to switch plans.

Basically, relax and toss out these things without opening them if you don't want to read them, There are other threads about "best shredder", too.
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rich126
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by rich126 »

I can only laugh in a sad way on this topic. My father passed away in late 2021. I occassionally will check his email addresses to see if someone who knew him sent him something or if some bill was emailed. I just see a ton of medicare and related medical insurance emails. It is relentless. I'm not looking forward to turning 65. At least in my case due to having federal health insurance I can just ignore most everything.
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PottedPlant
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by PottedPlant »

You cannot stop the mailings. There is so much money in Medicare. $1T USD per year.
Recycle and move on with life.

Be prepared for the "investment advisors'" mailings.
Mashed or Baked Potatoes?
cashmoney
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by cashmoney »

Pennywise Pound Fool wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:59 am DH is turning 65 this year and it seems that every agent who sells Medicare supplemental plans knows it. Nearly every day for the last 6 months we have received mailings from insurance industry representatives offering Medicare "educational" classes, workshops with free meals, offers of plans, etc. I have requested that we be removed from their mailing lists, but the mail still keeps coming.

How is his age and mailing address so readily available to all of these insurance representatives?

Is there anything I can do to "lock down" my information before I approach 65 to avoid a repeat of this?

There are new marketing restrictions for agencies,agents and insurance companies selling MA and PDP going in to effect in 2025 that should greatly reduce the number of phone calls,text and emails which is good but unfortunately this will probably lead to more unsolicited mailings as it is still a compliant way for them to get their message out.
bombcar
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by bombcar »

Tom_T
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by Tom_T »

I got a lot of Medicare-related marketing mail, but after turning 65 a few months ago, the mail has ceased. :)
OnTrack2020
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by OnTrack2020 »

Once your husband turns 65, you'll see a huge drop off in these mailings. My husband is 3 months past that age, and now it's down to one occasional Medicare Advantage plan mailing.
dbr
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by dbr »

Medicare open enrollment is Oct-Dec every year. No doubt you will be attacked again in the fall. Most of it is insurance companies wanting converts to Advantage plans. Unless you have your phone effectively blocked you will get that as well.
jebmke
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by jebmke »

PottedPlant wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:45 pm You cannot stop the mailings. There is so much money in Medicare. $1T USD per year.
Recycle and move on with life.

Be prepared for the "investment advisors'" mailings.
and a meteor storm of phone calls. The phone calls are easy to avoid by turning the ringer off on the phone.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
DetroitRick
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by DetroitRick »

It's normal. I went through it, now wife is going through it. Mainly in the form of solicitations for "seminars", agent services, and free dining. Plus, it's not only Medicare-related for us, which seems concentrated around age 65 and open enrollment, but also for retirement in general, social security and investments. And my new, personal favorite, funeral planning and cemetary plots. All told, from just prior to age 60 through late 60's, its a deluge.

We just toss 'em. Nothing worth shredding. 90% of all our mail is now this type of thing, plus other advertisers. So, little effort is needed to dispose. Most of this stuff seems clownish, but I assume it works or it wouldn't be so common.
bombcar
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by bombcar »

DetroitRick wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:33 pmMost of this stuff seems clownish, but I assume it works or it wouldn't be so common.
Direct mail is 29 cents a mailing or so (or cheaper!), and so one response can pay for thousands of mails.
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meowcat
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by meowcat »

Pennywise Pound Fool wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:59 am DH is turning 65 this year and it seems that every agent who sells Medicare supplemental plans knows it. Nearly every day for the last 6 months we have received mailings from insurance industry representatives offering Medicare "educational" classes, workshops with free meals, offers of plans, etc. I have requested that we be removed from their mailing lists, but the mail still keeps coming.

How is his age and mailing address so readily available to all of these insurance representatives?

Is there anything I can do to "lock down" my information before I approach 65 to avoid a repeat of this?
Medicare supplements don't send out mailers. The mailers you are getting are from privatized, for profit insurance companies that want take you off of original Medicare, give up your Medicare rights and go private. These are Medicare Advantage plans. They make money two ways, defrauding the government and denying much needed medical care. They are NOT Medicare, and they are not an advantage. As we speak, the government is trying to remove the word "Medicare" from advantage plans because it's not Medicare. The privatized insurance companies are using the Medicare name to mislead potential clients and the government wants that stopped.
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nisiprius
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by nisiprius »

I don't know how to stop them. In our state, everyone's age is public knowledge in various ways, the most obvious being drivers' license records. Furthermore, I have established relationships with my health insurance company, AARP, etc. which would make it legitimate for them to send me junk mails. And I've filled prescriptions at two physical pharmacies, two mail-order discount pharmacies, and through my health insurer's pharmacy benefits manager. Worse yet, I've been exploring hearing aid options, including getting "free" audiograms at hearing aid sales offices and taking online hearing tests at companies that sell OTC hearing aids.

Maybe these are all overstepping their legitimate boundaries, maybe not.

Some of it could probably be fought, but I doubt it would be worth the effort. Half of an infinite number of solicitations is still infinite. It is less aggravating to chuck the mail in the recycle bin, and hang up on the phone calls once you get them to admit they're selling Medicare Advantage plans (which is sometimes surprisingly hard).
meowcat wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:47 pm Medicare supplements don't send out mailers.
I could be mistaken, but I really believe I've gotten mailings from my Medicare Supplement insurer urging me to call THEIR 800 number to explore their Medicare Advantage plans. (They offer both). I don't have one at hand and maybe I was tricked--but I really think it was them.
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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ekid
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by ekid »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:07 pm I don't know how to stop them. In our state, everyone's age is public knowledge in various ways, the most obvious being drivers' license records. Furthermore, I have established relationships with my health insurance company, AARP, etc. which would make it legitimate for them to send me junk mails. And I've filled prescriptions at two physical pharmacies, two mail-order discount pharmacies, and through my health insurer's pharmacy benefits manager. Worse yet, I've been exploring hearing aid options, including getting "free" audiograms at hearing aid sales offices and taking online hearing tests at companies that sell OTC hearing aids.

Maybe these are all overstepping their legitimate boundaries, maybe not.

Some of it could probably be fought, but I doubt it would be worth the effort. Half of an infinite number of solicitations is still infinite. It is less aggravating to chuck the mail in the recycle bin, and hang up on the phone calls once you get them to admit they're selling Medicare Advantage plans (which is sometimes surprisingly hard).
After a pause they talk right over me if I attempt to engage. (following their script)
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nisiprius
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by nisiprius »

ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:14 pm After a pause they talk right over me if I attempt to engage. (following their script)
I started to rant about the phone calls, then deleted it because the original poster is complaining about mailings, but the phone calls are vicious. Usually from unverified numbers. Not only won't they tell you the "medical professional" who supposedly referred them, they usually won't disclose the name of the company they work for. A typical non-answer to "what company do you work for?" is "we offer Medicare Advantage plans with a variety of benefits from many different companies." They never say they're from Medicare but often use language like "I'm your patient advocate working closely with Medicare."

I have gotten calls, not selling Medicare Advantage, but soliciting donations from vaguely identified charities claiming to help police officers and/or fire fighters, which were obviously robots--robots with very good voice synthesis and very good voice recognition. And that was several years ago. The tipoff is usually that the call is too clear and noise-free. "Thanks to" AI I've probably gotten ones that fooled me.
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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WoostaGal
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by WoostaGal »

For junk mail like this, when I don't just toss it in the recycle bin,
I write 'Return to Sender' on the envelope and put it back in the mailbox.
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meowcat
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by meowcat »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:07 pm I don't know how to stop them. In our state, everyone's age is public knowledge in various ways, the most obvious being drivers' license records. Furthermore, I have established relationships with my health insurance company, AARP, etc. which would make it legitimate for them to send me junk mails. And I've filled prescriptions at two physical pharmacies, two mail-order discount pharmacies, and through my health insurer's pharmacy benefits manager. Worse yet, I've been exploring hearing aid options, including getting "free" audiograms at hearing aid sales offices and taking online hearing tests at companies that sell OTC hearing aids.

Maybe these are all overstepping their legitimate boundaries, maybe not.

Some of it could probably be fought, but I doubt it would be worth the effort. Half of an infinite number of solicitations is still infinite. It is less aggravating to chuck the mail in the recycle bin, and hang up on the phone calls once you get them to admit they're selling Medicare Advantage plans (which is sometimes surprisingly hard).
meowcat wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:47 pm Medicare supplements don't send out mailers.
I could be mistaken, but I really believe I've gotten mailings from my Medicare Supplement insurer urging me to call THEIR 800 number to explore their Medicare Advantage plans. (They offer both). I don't have one at hand and maybe I was tricked--but I really think it was them.
I should have been more clear. Many, many advantage plans are issued by the same companies that also issue supplemental plans, however, the mailings are not for supplemental plans, they are for advantage plans. Private insurance companies that offer Medicare supplement plans have literally zero marketing.
What the bold print givith, the fine print taketh away. | -meowcat
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LilyFleur
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by LilyFleur »

how does the forum feel about de-identifying these things before trashing/recycling them?
ekid
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by ekid »

LilyFleur wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:27 pm how does the forum feel about de-identifying these things before trashing/recycling them?
I don't know what you mean.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by LilyFleur »

One of my friends says it is important to remove your name and address from mail (even junk mail) before discarding it. So, I either shred the part with my name and address on it, or cover it with a permie marker. This makes doing the mail a bit of a chore, though.
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by jebmke »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:18 pm
ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:14 pm After a pause they talk right over me if I attempt to engage. (following their script)
I started to rant about the phone calls, then deleted it because the original poster is complaining about mailings, but the phone calls are vicious. Usually from unverified numbers. Not only won't they tell you the "medical professional" who supposedly referred them, they usually won't disclose the name of the company they work for. A typical non-answer to "what company do you work for?" is "we offer Medicare Advantage plans with a variety of benefits from many different companies." They never say they're from Medicare but often use language like "I'm your patient advocate working closely with Medicare."

I have gotten calls, not selling Medicare Advantage, but soliciting donations from vaguely identified charities claiming to help police officers and/or fire fighters, which were obviously robots--robots with very good voice synthesis and very good voice recognition. And that was several years ago. The tipoff is usually that the call is too clear and noise-free. "Thanks to" AI I've probably gotten ones that fooled me.
Why do you answer them? I don't answer any call on our land line. I can clean them up on the answering machine. All my siblings and friends will call me on my cell or send a text to call them -- most likely the latter.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
livesoft
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by livesoft »

LilyFleur wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:04 pm One of my friends says it is important to remove your name and address from mail (even junk mail) before discarding it. So, I either shred the part with my name and address on it, or cover it with a permie marker. This makes doing the mail a bit of a chore, though.
A good shredder solves that problem since it will shred even thick mailing without opening them. Well, except for the places that add a US nickel to thank you for opening their mail.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

LilyFleur wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:04 pm One of my friends says it is important to remove your name and address from mail (even junk mail) before discarding it. So, I either shred the part with my name and address on it, or cover it with a permie marker. This makes doing the mail a bit of a chore, though.
It's probably a bit paranoid to assume someone is stealing and sorting your trash to look at junk mail, considering that I can just as easily look up your name from your address or vice versa without also learning what you ate for lunch on Friday.

That said, I do shred financial docs from my brokerages.
Last edited by Doctor Rhythm on Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by TimeRunner »

If you want to get an idea of what info data brokers have on you, ask for your report from ACXIOM.COM, one of the larger ones:
https://www.acxiom.com/privacy/

My report was 140 pages. Unfortunately they are individual data elements/items and there's no info on how they are used or who uses them, and puts the chore of correcting them on you. You have to decide...does it matter if an address from 40 years ago is wrong? Sigh.
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ekid
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by ekid »

jebmke wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:08 pm
nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:18 pm
ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:14 pm After a pause they talk right over me if I attempt to engage. (following their script)
I started to rant about the phone calls, then deleted it because the original poster is complaining about mailings, but the phone calls are vicious. Usually from unverified numbers. Not only won't they tell you the "medical professional" who supposedly referred them, they usually won't disclose the name of the company they work for. A typical non-answer to "what company do you work for?" is "we offer Medicare Advantage plans with a variety of benefits from many different companies." They never say they're from Medicare but often use language like "I'm your patient advocate working closely with Medicare."

I have gotten calls, not selling Medicare Advantage, but soliciting donations from vaguely identified charities claiming to help police officers and/or fire fighters, which were obviously robots--robots with very good voice synthesis and very good voice recognition. And that was several years ago. The tipoff is usually that the call is too clear and noise-free. "Thanks to" AI I've probably gotten ones that fooled me.
Why do you answer them? I don't answer any call on our land line. I can clean them up on the answering machine. All my siblings and friends will call me on my cell or send a text to call them -- most likely the latter.
(grin) Out here on the farm we burn our own discard mail but I have only an old fashion handset from the '70s/80s.

But yes I read a recent article maybe WSJ?- the hipsters do Everything on their smartphones Except answer calls. "Don't you dare call me without texting first!"
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LilyFleur
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by LilyFleur »

ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:27 pm
jebmke wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:08 pm
nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:18 pm
ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:14 pm After a pause they talk right over me if I attempt to engage. (following their script)
I started to rant about the phone calls, then deleted it because the original poster is complaining about mailings, but the phone calls are vicious. Usually from unverified numbers. Not only won't they tell you the "medical professional" who supposedly referred them, they usually won't disclose the name of the company they work for. A typical non-answer to "what company do you work for?" is "we offer Medicare Advantage plans with a variety of benefits from many different companies." They never say they're from Medicare but often use language like "I'm your patient advocate working closely with Medicare."

I have gotten calls, not selling Medicare Advantage, but soliciting donations from vaguely identified charities claiming to help police officers and/or fire fighters, which were obviously robots--robots with very good voice synthesis and very good voice recognition. And that was several years ago. The tipoff is usually that the call is too clear and noise-free. "Thanks to" AI I've probably gotten ones that fooled me.
Why do you answer them? I don't answer any call on our land line. I can clean them up on the answering machine. All my siblings and friends will call me on my cell or send a text to call them -- most likely the latter.
(grin) Out here on the farm we burn our own discard mail but I have only an old fashion handset from the '70s/80s.

But yes I read a recent article maybe WSJ?- the hipsters do Everything on their smartphones Except answer calls. "Don't you dare call me without texting first!"
I'm not a hipster, but I will confess sometimes I text my friend in advance about what is a good time to have our phone call. I'm really not a fan of phone tag.
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PottedPlant
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Paranoia

Post by PottedPlant »

Doctor Rhythm wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:15 pm That said, I do shred financial docs from my brokerages.
How do you shred PDFs?
Mashed or Baked Potatoes?
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by vnatale »

ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:27 pm
jebmke wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:08 pm
nisiprius wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:18 pm
ekid wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:14 pm After a pause they talk right over me if I attempt to engage. (following their script)
I started to rant about the phone calls, then deleted it because the original poster is complaining about mailings, but the phone calls are vicious. Usually from unverified numbers. Not only won't they tell you the "medical professional" who supposedly referred them, they usually won't disclose the name of the company they work for. A typical non-answer to "what company do you work for?" is "we offer Medicare Advantage plans with a variety of benefits from many different companies." They never say they're from Medicare but often use language like "I'm your patient advocate working closely with Medicare."

I have gotten calls, not selling Medicare Advantage, but soliciting donations from vaguely identified charities claiming to help police officers and/or fire fighters, which were obviously robots--robots with very good voice synthesis and very good voice recognition. And that was several years ago. The tipoff is usually that the call is too clear and noise-free. "Thanks to" AI I've probably gotten ones that fooled me.
Why do you answer them? I don't answer any call on our land line. I can clean them up on the answering machine. All my siblings and friends will call me on my cell or send a text to call them -- most likely the latter.
(grin) Out here on the farm we burn our own discard mail but I have only an old fashion handset from the '70s/80s.


But yes I read a recent article maybe WSJ?- the hipsters do Everything on their smartphones Except answer calls. "Don't you dare call me without texting first!"
I'm no hipster. Prefer doing all on my computer and only use the phone when necessary. But I don't like anyone calling me without my prior knowledge that they will be doing so. I only answer the phone if I know the call was coming.
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Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Paranoia

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

PottedPlant wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:45 pm
Doctor Rhythm wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:15 pm That said, I do shred financial docs from my brokerages.
How do you shred PDFs?
Here are some shredder apps.
bombcar
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Re: Barraged by Medicare-related Mailings

Post by bombcar »

Doctor Rhythm wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:15 pm
LilyFleur wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:04 pm One of my friends says it is important to remove your name and address from mail (even junk mail) before discarding it. So, I either shred the part with my name and address on it, or cover it with a permie marker. This makes doing the mail a bit of a chore, though.
It's probably a bit paranoid to assume someone is stealing and sorting your trash to look at junk mail, considering that I can just as easily look up your name from your address or vice versa without also learning what you ate for lunch on Friday night.

That said, I do shred financial docs from my brokerages.
Especially since if they’re in your trash can they’re right in front of your house anyway, so they know your address.
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