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This variable is contained in the following files: Plan Characteristics File
SAS Name

This variable identifies what types of drugs, if any, are covered on each formulary tier during the pre-initial coverage limit (ICL) phase. A tier may include multiple drug types.


There are a different number of records for each year to describe tiers, due to variation in the number of formulary tiers over time.

The CCW constructs the Plan Characteristics File from information submitted by plan sponsors to CMS’s Health Plan Management System (HPMS). Employer and National Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plans are waived from reporting Plan Benefit Package information.

For those plans that did not report, the value of this variable will be blank.

Source: CMS (HPMS Files)

Binary character string where each digit is a 1 or 0 to accommodate a variety of types of drugs. For example, if the value = 110000 (1s in the 1st and 2nd digits), then generic and non-preferred brand drugs are covered on this tier during the pre-ICL phase.
CodeCode value
1 in 1st digit
Non-Preferred Brand
1 in 2nd digit
1 in 3rd digit
Preferred Generic
1 in 4th digit
Non-Preferred Generic
1 in 5th digit
1 in 6th digit
Preferred Brand
All 9's
Not Applicable