MCBS Public Use File

MCBS Public Use File

The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics (OEDA) through a contract with NORC at the University of Chicago is a continuous, in-person, longitudinal survey of a representative national sample of the Medicare population. It has been carried out continuously for more than 30 years, encompassing more than one million total interviews. The MCBS is designed to aid CMS in administering, monitoring, and evaluating Medicare programs, is the leading source of information on Medicare and its impact on beneficiaries, provides important information on Medicare beneficiaries that is NOT available in CMS administrative data and plays an essential role in monitoring and examining health care access, utilization, and care transition and coordination.

The central goals of the MCBS are to determine expenditures and sources of payment for all services used by Medicare beneficiaries, including co-payments, deductibles, and non-covered services; to ascertain all types of health insurance coverage and relate coverage to sources of payment; and to trace outcomes over time, such as changes in health status and spending down to Medicaid eligibility and the impacts of Medicare program changes on satisfaction with care and usual source of care.

Beginning with data collected in the 2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), a public use file (PUF) and accompanying documentation are available free for download under the MCBS PUF link on this page.  The MCBS PUF is an easy to use data file with select data items that allow researchers to conduct analysis on health disparities, access to and satisfaction with healthcare, and medical conditions for community dwelling Medicare beneficiaries. The MCBS PUF is not intended to replace the more detailed limited data set (LDS) files, rather it provides a publicly available alternative for those researchers interested in the health, health care use, access to and satisfaction with Medicare of beneficiaries, while providing the very highest degree of protection to the Medicare beneficiaries’ protected health information, meeting all necessary de-identification of the data and mitigating disclosure risk.

For more information about using the MCBS data, write to us at:

Note:  Please read the CMS Data Disclaimer - User Agreement below, which contains important information regarding the use of the PUF data.

CMS Data Disclaimer – User Agreement (PDF)


Data File YearComplete PUF PackageData FileCodebookDocumentationSAS® code
2018 Medicare Current Beneficiary Cost Supplement Microdata PUF MCBSCSPUF18 (ZIP)CSPUF2018  (ZIP)CSPUF2018.txt (PLAIN)

2018MCBSData (PDF)
UsersGuideCSFilePUF (PDF)

CSPUF2018Import.txt (PLAIN)

2021 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File Microdata PUFMCBSPUF21 (ZIP)PUF2021 (ZIP)2021MCBSPUF Codebooks (ZIP)2021MCBSPUF (PDF)
DataUserGuide (PDF) (PDF)
2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Cost Supplement Microdata PUFMCBSCSPUF20 (ZIP)CSPUF2020 (ZIP) (ZIP)CSPUF2020.txt (PLAIN)2020MCBSData (PDF)
UsersGuideCSFilePUF (PDF)
CSPUF2020Import.txt (PLAIN)
2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey
Cost Supplement Microdata PUF
UsersGuideCSFilePUF (PDF)
CSPUF2019Import.txt (PLAIN)
2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File PUFMCBSPUF20 (ZIP)PUF2020 (ZIP)2020MCBSPUF Codebooks (ZIP)2020MCBSPUF (PDF)
DataUserGuide (PDF)
2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File PUFMCBSPUF19 (ZIP)PUF2019 (ZIP)2019MCBSPUF (ZIP)
Codebooks (ZIP)
DataUserGuide (PDF)
2021 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey COVID-19 Winter Supplement PUFMCBSCOVIDPUF2021W (ZIP)COVIDPUF_3_ (ZIP)
2021W_XPT (ZIP)
COVIDPUF_3_2021w.txt (PLAIN)2021MCBSPUF19 (PDF)
2021W.txt (PLAIN)
2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey COVID-19 Fall Supplement PUFMCBSCOVIDPUF 2020F (ZIP)COVIDPUF_2_ (ZIP)
2020F _XPT (ZIP)
COVIDPUF_2_2020f.txt (PLAIN)
2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey COVID-19 Summer Supplement PUFMCBSCOVIDPUF 2020S (ZIP)COVIDPUF_1_ (ZIP)
2020S _XPT (ZIP)
2018 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File PUFMCBSPUF18 (ZIP)PUF2018_XPT (ZIP)2018MCBSPUF (ZIP)
Codebooks (ZIP)
UserGuide (PDF)
2017 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File PUFMCBSPUF17 (ZIP)PUF2017_XPT (ZIP)2017MCBSPUF (ZIP)
Codebooks (ZIP)
UserGuide (PDF)
2016 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File PUFMCBSPUF16 (ZIP)PUF2016_XPT (ZIP)2016MCBSPUF Codebook.txt (PLAIN)2016MCBSPUF (PDF)
UserGuide (PDF)
2015 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey File PUFMCBSPUF15 (ZIP)PUF2015_XPT (ZIP)2015MCBSPUF Codebook.txt (PLAIN)2015MCBSPUF (PDF)
UserGuide (PDF)
2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Access to Care PUFATCPUF13 (ZIP)ATCPUF13_XPT (ZIP)2013ATC (PDF)
Codebook (PDF)
UserGuide (PDF)
Page Last Modified:
11/30/2023 02:15 PM