The encrypted unique number CMS assigns to each contract that a Part D plan has with CMS.
Prior to 2015, this variable was always encrypted to comply with CMS privacy rules. You need to know both the Part D contract number and plan benefit package identification number (variable called PLAN_ID) in order to identify the specific plan benefit package offered to beneficiaries. This variable corresponds with the CONTRACT_NAME variable, which is the contract name that corresponds with this number. The CCW constructs the Plan Characteristics File from the information submitted by Part D plan sponsors to CMS's Health Plan Management System (HPMS).