Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)

The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) is a multipurpose survey of a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries. The MCBS data contain the following information:

  • socioeconomic and demographic characteristics
  • health status and functioning
  • health care use and expenditures
  • health insurance coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance
  • Medicare claims for survey participants

The MCBS is available as two separate modules, the Access to Care and the Cost and Use.  The two modules contain some overlapping information, but do differ in some important ways. Please see the specific module pages for more information. Note that both modules come with matched Medicare claims for MCBS participants. The MCBS is $600 per module per year.

Part D Utilization Information in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey

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Beginning with the 2006 file, the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) will contain Part D utilization information. However, unlike the Part A and B claims included with the MCBS, there is not a separate file for the Part D events (PDEs). Part D administrative information for events covered by the Part D program has been appended to the Prescribed Medicine Event (PME) file within the MCBS. The PME file (called RIC PME) is only contained in the Cost and Use module and not the Access to Care module.

MCBS Access to Care

The Access to Care module contains information on beneficiaries' access to health care, satisfaction with care, and usual source of care. This module contains 4 panels of participants, the newly enrolled participants and the three continuing panels.

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