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What Does EOB Mean? | Explanation for an Explanation of Benefits (EOB)

Posted on March 25, 2024 in Insurance

Benefits puzzle piece, fitting into a puzzle.

Navigating dental insurance terms and documents can feel like reading a foreign language. One such document that often leaves patients scratching their heads is the Explanation of Benefits (EOB).

What is an EOB? 

An Explanation of Benefits, commonly referred to as an EOB, is a paper or digital statement sent by your dental insurance provider detailing the costs of services or treatments they have covered on your behalf, as well as any charges you’re responsible for.

While it may seem similar to a bill at first glance, an EOB serves a different purpose. Instead of showing the amount you owe, it serves as a summary of the claims processed by your insurance company, outlining what services were provided, the associated costs, and how much your insurance covers. If your procedure with your dentist was fully covered, you won’t receive an EOB. That’s because the rate the dentist requested was covered by us.

Why is an EOB important?

An EOB provides information about any outstanding payments owed to your dentist. It also serves as an opportunity to verify that you've been accurately billed for the services and that the charges align with your plan’s coverage.

It’s important to review your EOB to check for any billing mistakes. Typically, an EOB provides information such as:

  • the treatments provided
  • dentist fees
  • insurance reimbursements
  • potential costs for deductibles or copays
  • details on procedures not covered by your policy
  • coordination of benefits (if applicable)
  • utilization of your annual maximum
  • your contributions toward the deductible in the current benefit year 

An EOB is a way to keep all parties involved informed and honest. It allows us to communicate to you, our member, what exactly you are financially responsible for. You should never pay any more or any less than what is stated on the EOB. If your statement says, “not chargeable to patient” anywhere, this means the dentist has to “take a write-off,” or they billed above what their contracted rate allows. 

What to do if there is a mistake on your EOB 

You shouldn’t have to take any action when you receive an EOB. However, if you didn’t have the services listed on the document done or if something looks  incorrect from what you recall during the treatment, it’s important to contact us.