National Coverage Determination

Below are national coverage determination updates released since January 2019. Click the "view details" button to read more about the determination and what has changed.

National Coverage Determination Notifications
Posted Coverage Determination Clinical Trial  
3/23/2018Decision Memorandum on Diagnostic Laboratory Tests

Decision Memorandum on Diagnostic Laboratory Tests using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for Medicare Beneficiaries with Advanced Cancer (CAG-00450N)

Effective 3/16/2018, CMS has determined that Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) as a diagnostic laboratory test is reasonable and necessary and covered nationally, when performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory, when ordered by a treating physician and when certain requirements are met.
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CMS NCD Updates for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Services

Please use this link to access the CMS site where Lab NCDs are posted.

How are your medical services covered when you are in a "clinical research study"?

A clinical research study (also called a "clinical trial") is a way that doctors and scientists test new types of medical care, like how well a new cancer drug works. They test new medical care procedures or drugs by asking for volunteers to help with the study. This kind of study is one of the final stages of a research process that helps doctors and scientists see if a new approach works and if it is safe.

Not all clinical research studies are open to members of our plan. Medicare first needs to approve the research study. If you participate in a study that Medicare has not approved, you will be responsible for paying all costs for your participation in the study.

Once Medicare approves the study, someone who works on the study will contact you to explain more about the study and see if you meet the requirements set by the scientists who are running the study. You can participate in the study as long as you meet the requirementsfor the study and you have a full understanding and acceptance of what is involved if you participate in the study.

If you participate in a Medicare-approved study, Original Medicare pays most of the costs for the covered services you receive as part of the study. When you are in a clinical research study, you may stay enrolled in our plan and continue to get the rest of your care (the care that is not related to the study) through our plan.

If you want to participate in a Medicare-approved clinical research study, you do not need to get approval from us or your PCP. The providers that deliver your care as part of the clinical research study do not need to be part of our plan's network of providers.

Although you do not need to get our plan's permission to be in a clinical research study, you do need to tell us before you start participating in a clinical research study.

If you plan on participating in a clinical research study, contact Customer Service (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet) to let them know that you will be participating in a clinical trial and to find out more specific details about what your plan will pay.


  • CommunityCare is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Senior Health Plan depends on contract renewal.
  • You may join or leave a plan only at certain times. Please call Senior Health Plan or 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for more information. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. You can call this number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • You can join Senior Health Plan if you are entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Medicare Part B and live in the service area. However, individuals with End Stage Renal Disease are generally not eligible to enroll in Senior Health Plan unless they are members of our organization and have been since their dialysis began.
  • Senior Health Plan has formed a network of doctors, specialists, and hospitals. You can only use doctors who are part of our network. The health providers in our network can change at any time. You can ask for a current Provider Directory for an up-to-date list or search the Senior Health Plan provider directory on this website. If you choose to go to a doctor outside of our network, you must pay for these services yourself. Neither Senior Health Plan nor Original Medicare will pay for these services.
  • You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, even if the Senior Health Plan premium is $0.