Part A covers inpatient care in hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and hospice care. Part B covers doctors' services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as therapy, home health care and durable medical equipment. Part B also covers some preventive services, such as colonoscopy, mammograms and immunizations.
Part D helps beneficiaries cover the cost of prescription drugs. These plans are run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Beneficiaries typically have monthly premium and prescription copayments. Each Part D Plan has its own list of covered drugs (called a formulary). Many plans place drugs into different "tiers" on their formularies. Drugs in each tier have a different cost.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are health plan options run by private insurance companies for Medicare beneficiaries. These plans include the benefits and services covered under Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) and often include prescription drug coverage and other benefits such as eyeglasses, dental coverage and gym memberships, for example.