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CMS 1500 Forms Instruction Manual

Please click on the image below to get a PDF copy of the National Uniform Claim Committee's (NUCC) 1500 Health Insurance Claim Form Reference Instruction Manual for 08/05 Version. This PDF file requires that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader® on your system in order to view the file. If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader®, you can download one here for free.
When you click on the image, it will open the PDF in your system's web browser. There is an image of a disk that you can click on to save the manual to your computer. Alternately, you can "right click" on the image below and choose "Save Target As" in the menu that pops up to save it directly to your computer.
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Manual for CMS 1500 (08/05) version                                                            Manual for CMS 1500 (02/12) version
Manuals provided by NUCC.org, the National Uniform Claim Committee.
Excerpts from the cms 1500 forms manual provided by NUCC.org, the National Uniform Claim Committee and the ©2013 American Medical Association:
Disclaimer and Notices...pg 2
©2013 American Medical Association

This document is published in cooperation with the National Uniform Claim Committee (NUCC) by the American Medical Association (AMA). Permission is granted to any individual to copy and distribute this material as long as the copyright statement is included, the contents are not changed, and the copies are not sold or licensed. Applicable FARS/DFARS restrictions apply.

The NUCC has developed this general instructions document for completing the 1500 Claim Form. This document is intended to be a guide for completing the 1500 Claim Form and not definitive instructions for this purpose. Any user of this document should refer to the most current federal, state, or other payer instructions for specific requirements applicable to using the 1500 Claim Form.

The NUCC Reference Instruction Manual must remain intact. Any payer-specific instructions for completion of the 1500 Claim Form need to be maintained in a separate document. The information provided here is for reference use only and does not constitute the rendering of legal, financial, or other professional advice or recommendations by the AMA or the NUCC. You should consult with an appropriate professional if you need legal or other advice. The listing of an organization or the provision of a link to a web site does not imply any endorsement by the AMA or the NUCC or by any of its members for the products, services, and/or Internet sites listed.

This document is provided “as is” without representation or warranty of any kind either expressed or implied. The AMA and the NUCC and its members shall not be responsible for any use or non use of this document.

Version 1.1

The 1500 Health Insurance Claim Form (1500 Claim Form) answers the needs of many health care payers. It is the basic paper claim form prescribed by many payers for claims submitted by physicians and suppliers, and in some cases, for ambulance services.


In the 1960s, there were a number of different claim forms and coding systems required by third-party payers to communicate information regarding procedures and services to agencies concerned with insurance claims. There was, however, no standardized form for physicians and other health care providers to report health care services. Therefore, the American Medical Association (AMA) embraced an assignment in the 1980s to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS; formerly known as HCFA), and many other payer organizations through a group called the Uniform Claim Form Task Force to standardize and promote the use of a universal health claim form. As a result of this joint effort, the 1500 Claim Form is accepted nationwide by most insurance entities as the standard claim form/attending physician statement for submission of medical claims.


The Uniform Claim Form Task Force was replaced by the National Uniform Claim Committee (NUCC) in the mid 1990s. The NUCC’s goal was to develop the NUCC Data Set (NUCC-DS), a standardized data set for use in an electronic environment, but applicable to and consistent with evolving paper claim form standards. The NUCC continues to be responsible for the maintenance of the 1500 Claim Form. Although many providers now submit electronic claims, many of their software/hardware systems depend on the existing 1500 Claim Form in its current image.


The 1500 Claim Form instructions were initially approved by the NUCC in November 2005. The NUCC continues to research the type of data that are typically reported, as well as the required data elements that may apply to public and private payers. Therefore, the instructions have and will continue to evolve. Updated versions of this instruction manual are released each July. The ultimate goal of the NUCC is to develop standardized national instructions. The end result may require additional changes to the 1500 Claim Form in the future.



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