Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey

Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey

ACCA has recently been contacted and asked to share this information regarding the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Below is information on the survey, examples of letters you might receive concerning this survey and answers to frequently asked questions.

Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)

Since its inception in 1991, the MCBS has been an invaluable source of information for administering the Medicare program, estimating health care expenditures for beneficiaries, and creating a better understanding of Medicare beneficiaries. It is the leading source of information on Medicare and its impact on beneficiaries. Data from the MCBS is used to inform many products, including the creation of new benefits such as the Part D prescription drug benefit.

The MCBS is a continuous, in-person survey of a representative national sample of the Medicare population. It is sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and directed by the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics in partnership with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Linked to Medicare claims data, the survey was designed to aid CMS in administering, monitoring, and evaluating the Medicare program.

In the MCBS, each sampled beneficiary is selected as part of a panel and is interviewed up to three times per year for four consecutive years. Interviews are administered via computer-assisted personal interviewing and facilitated by a national team of interviewers from NORC at the University of Chicago. Roughly one-quarter of the existing sample is retired each summer, and a new panel is selected to replace it the following fall. A key feature of the MCBS design is that sampled persons are followed into and out of long term care facilities during their participation in the survey.

CMS has contracted NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct the MCBS. NORC engages in sampling, data collection, data processing, and data delivery as part of conducting the MCBS.

A professional interviewer will contact selected beneficiaries to complete MCBS. To assist beneficiaries wishing to confirm the validity of the study and interviewer, they can:

  1. confirm the letters received match the examples below, and
  2. visit the following website and enter the interviewer ID number and last name












To see larger versions of each letter, please click here or here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How was I selected for the survey?
This survey was designed to include Medicare beneficiaries whose doctors are part of a Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO). According to Medicare administrative files, your doctor participates in the NextGen ACO Model. We have scientifically selected your name from the Medicare administrative files, and we cannot substitute another person for you in this study. You, along with the 18,000 other Medicare beneficiaries have been selected to participate in this survey. Each study participant represents all of the nation’s Medicare beneficiaries who are part of this group. Your experiences represent thousands of other people, making your participation critical.

What is a Next Generation Accountable Care Organization?
Next Generation ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers and suppliers that come together to provide coordinated, high-quality care at lower cost to Medicare. You can find more information about the initiative on the Medicare webpage at

How much time will this take?
The interview will take around 15 minutes to complete. The interview will be scheduled at your convenience.

How do I know my answers will be kept private?
We guarantee it. Only people working on the project will see the information you give the interviewer. The Privacy Act of 1974 states that the answers you give will not be connected with your name. The information you give will only be used for summary statistics or put into graphs and tables.

What will you be asking me about?
We will ask you about your experiences with healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, including any care you may have skipped or delayed. We’ll also ask you about things you may have done in response to COVID-19 and where you get information.

Who is NORC at the University of Chicago?
NORC at the University of Chicago serves the public interest and improves lives through objective social science research that supports informed decision making. Founded in 1941, NORC has helped establish and continues to strengthen the rapidly evolving field of social science research. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have chosen NORC to help conduct this study. To find more information view NORC’s website at

Will I lose my Social Security, Medicare, or other government benefits if I don’t do this?
No, your benefits will not be affected by your decision to participate in the survey. However, this is a very important study, and your participation will help us to better understand the needs of people on Medicare.

Is this survey part of a larger project?
The interview is part of a larger study called the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, or MCBS for short. The MCBS began to collect information about health and cost of care for people in September 1991. It has been conducted continuously since then because of the extreme value this data provides in understanding and rethinking Medicare and health care policies in this country. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sponsors this study, and also oversees the Medicare program. In sponsoring this study, CMS hopes to gain valuable insight from you.

More information can also be found by visiting

Here’s how you can help our mission