What is an HCFA 1500 Form?

A Form CMS 1500 is filed to initiate a Medicare claim.
A Form CMS 1500 is filed to initiate a Medicare claim. (Image: stamp and pad image by jovica antoski from Fotolia.com)

The Form CMS-1500, previously called an HCFA 1500 Form, is a form used in the health care industry to make Medicare claims. Health care providers or their billing agents complete the form and submit it to the applicable Medicare carriers or Medicare contractors.

The Form

Medicare requires either the Form CMS-1500 or an electronic filing before claims are considered. The electronic system is required for most claims. Exceptions that allow the Form CMS-1500 include small providers with less than 10 full time employees, and those who file fewer than 10 claims each month.


It is illegal to charge patients a fee to complete Form CMS-1500 or other Medicare claims. The forms must be completed in black ink or typed, and some medical coding knowledge is necessary.

Time Frame

All Medicare claims must be submitted within a year of the service or treatment to be paid. If a Form CMS-1500 is not completed completely or is completed incorrectly, it may be returned. The original, one-year deadline applies to resubmissions as well.

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