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This variable is contained in the following files: Plan Characteristics File
SAS Name
CONTRACT_ID_15 (previous year)

This variable is the unique number CMS assigns to each contract that a plan has with CMS. This was the Contract ID for the plan in 2015. It may or may not be the same as the Contract ID in the reference year (2016).

This field is a key that links the plan sponsor's contract and plan identifiers.


To determine whether the Contract and Plan IDs in the data file for the reference year (year of the data file) represent the same plan in the prior year, compare this variable (along with the corresponding PLAN_ID_15) to the CONTRACT_ID_16 (and PLAN_ID_16).

You need to know both the contract number and plan benefit package identification number (variable called PLAN_ID_YY) in order to identify the specific plan benefit package offered to beneficiaries for the particular year (YY).

This variable corresponds with the CONTRACT_NAME variable in the Plan Base File for the year, which is the contract name that corresponds with this number.

The CCW constructs the Plan Characteristics File from information submitted by plan sponsors to CMS’s Health Plan Management System (HPMS).

Source: CMS (HPMS Files)

5-digit alpha/numeric value