Author Topic: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?  (Read 10923 times)

rjack

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What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« on: May 20, 2012, 12:08:46 PM »
I know many of you have High Deductible Health Insurance plans with HSA accounts.

What do you recommend as a good HSA account? I'm mostly looking for low/no fees for opening, maintaining, and using the account. I would like to also find something that pays a fair interest rate.

Thanks!
Roger

fiveoh

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 07:38:40 AM »
I use hsabank.com

I've only had it for a few months so I can't really comment too much.  They do have fees but all are avoidable by carrying a certain balance in your account and getting paperless statements.  They also allow you to invest in stocks/mutual funds.   

TheDude

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 09:55:35 AM »
I currently use Alliant Credit Union. I started when their rates were 3% but they have since gone down to 1.5%. I do all my checking there so its convenient. They have really good customer service and at least competitive rates.

Another good options is Adirondack Trust Company. Although they do have fees for opening and monthly they pay 3% Not as easy to  deal with as Allaint but double the rate. A good option if you have enough in your HSA to make the fees and the different rate.

Here is a pretty good list of accounts http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/542257/.

rjack

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 10:14:04 AM »
Here is a pretty good list of accounts http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/542257/.

That is a great list. Many thanks!
Roger

DrFunk

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 12:02:16 PM »
I am going to sign up for my employer HDHP and HSA. My employer funds $1100 into my HSA automatically (their HSA provider is HealthEquity, http://healthequity.com/ed/hsalearn).

At HealthEquity I have to keep the first $2000 in their cash/savings account that pays 0.05% APY. I am definitely going to open this to get the contribution, but I am thinking of opening a different HSA account through another provider.  I'm hoping to get a few recommendations.
I can invest at HealthEquity with these options (http://healthequity.com/ed/resources/docs/HSA_invest.pdf), but I get charged some serious fees ($0.33 per $1000 per month) if I want to invest in the Vanguard funds. I don't see any other fees associated with the HealthEquity account.

Wants in the second HSA account
- immediately invest the funds I deposit
- low/no costs/fees for low balance (until I build it up)
- broad investment opportunities (low fee again)

Some options I've come across are HSAbank.com or http://www.hsaadministrators.info/ (direct link from Vanguard - so you know it HAS to be SHOULD be legit!)

At HSAbank they charge a $2.50 monthly fee if you have less than $5000. There is also a $3.00 a month 'investment' fee, not sure if this is if you choose to have your direct deposit automatically invested (this is also waived if you have > $5000). Investing is through TDAmeritrade. Not sure what other fees there are for trading through TD platform.

HSA administrators charge an annual $45 fee (never waived). They also have a quarterly mutual fund custodial fee ($0.80 per $1000, with a max of $16) on top of the fund management fee (standard Vanguard fee).

Here is a link from Bogleheads talking about the different options. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33831
But they don't go into all the fees associated.

Any personal experience with HealthEquity, HSAbank, or HSA administrators is greatly appreciated.

DrFunk

sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 02:13:49 PM »
My HSA custodian is BenefitWallet (ACS | BNY Mellon HSA Investment). Monthly service charge: $2.95 (paid by company while I'm actively enrolled in the HDHP).

Cons:
1) The investment offering consists of 22 funds. I think most are pretty crappy. Look at those POS fees! https://mybenefitwallet.com/CMS/docs/default/Investment_Link.pdf
2) The investment minimum balance to open is $1,000.
3) There is a yucky administrative fee of $2.90 per month that cannot be waived.

Question to all, in my situation would you participate in the HSA investment offerings? I don't like paying more for the Vanguard funds than it actually costs buying it directly from the company. And if you peruse the other funds expense ratios most are high. Out of 22 funds 15 funds have expense ratios at 1.00% or higher and 8 funds are 0.86% or higher! Pardon my French but what a load of merde.

Also, has anyone participating in transfers to external HSA accounts? Partial or full? I'd like to hear about your experience involving investing through your HSA at external HSA companies. Can you speak about your experiences? I am aware there are many other external companies offering HSAs. Schwab has one but why doesn't Vanguard or Fidelity offer one? Thoughts?

Thanks everyone! :)
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TN_Steve

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 02:30:32 PM »

***

At HSAbank they charge a $2.50 monthly fee if you have less than $5000. There is also a $3.00 a month 'investment' fee, not sure if this is if you choose to have your direct deposit automatically invested (this is also waived if you have > $5000). Investing is through TDAmeritrade. Not sure what other fees there are for trading through TD platform.

HSA administrators charge an annual $45 fee (never waived). They also have a quarterly mutual fund custodial fee ($0.80 per $1000, with a max of $16) on top of the fund management fee (standard Vanguard fee).

***
Any personal experience with HealthEquity, HSAbank, or HSA administrators is greatly appreciated.

DrFunk

DW has substantial HSA at HSABank (have never drawn on it and have done full family contributions for more than five years....)  We switched from Administrators because of fees.  Our intent is to keep it in Vanguard ETFs until we need it to supplement Medicare, so definitely a long-term investment account.  You can go directly to TDAmeritrade to make purchases.

The charges hit unless you have the funds in the equivalent of a cash account.  Even if you have far more invested in the TDAmeritrade (free vanguard etf) option, the fees still hit, but we don't like having 5k sitting uninvested.... 

I know that they have various mechanisms for getting $$ out to pay for healthcare, but we have never looked into that.  Our only interaction with them is when we authorize them to pull the money from wells fargo each year after the employer fully funds the account.  So far, that has always worked.

Prepube

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2014, 06:03:43 PM »
Been with HSAbank pretty much since they started (I had an "MSA" originally, which was the precursor to the current HSA).  the only problem I ever had was when I could not withdraw money easily to pay for expenses related to a medical emergency we had while traveling.  It took like 12 months to get everything taken care of (total bills were about 300,000, the insurance took care of about 250000 of that, I paid 25000 from a savings account, and the HSA funds paid the rest).  Anyway, things are coded as either "medical" or "not medical", so they automatically were rejecting the expenses that were a little ambiguous, like the Flight for Life airplane we needed or the extra long ambulance ride (who knew that, after 25 miles, the costs balloon?  A 50 mile ride cost us more than 5000).  The airplane ride was not coded as "medical"; even though it was like a flying ambulance, it was coded as a travel expense.  You are not given many choices during an emergency, and you are not necessarily making decisions with an eye on the money if there is a life/death event occurring.  And, as in the case of our long ambulance ride, you may not get to make the choices at all. 

Anyway, read the fine print and be sure you review it every once in a while.  I wished I had done so when I was in the midst of spending money I was going to request reimbursement for.  The HSA was the best decision I ever made and the high deductible policy worked perfectly when I needed it to.  I'd have a lot more money now if the incident had not happened, but I have saved a lot of money over the long haul.

(Everyone was fine in the end, by the way... just a little hemorrhagic stroke, brain surgery, rehab, physical therapy and what seemed like a million CAT scans and MRIs)

wtjbatman

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2014, 08:21:50 PM »
I just qualified for medical, and my new employer gives me access to an amazing HSA through Optum Bank. The normal Optum Bank investment options are alright, but through my employer, I have access to 7 Vanguard index funds and the 3 Vanguard life strategy funds. I was pretty happy when I found that out.

Pooperman

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2014, 06:39:02 AM »
My HSA (Chase) sucks donkey balls. The best I can do is US Index (~0.80%) and International (~0.35%)... At least you guys have Vanguard options. Probably will move the money to a better HSA holding company at the end of the year, but not enough to close the Chase account (I still want the money to be completely tax free).

sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 04:40:26 PM »
Can anyone share their actual experiences using HSA Administrators http://www.hsaadministrators.info/ or HSABank http://hsabank.com/hsabank/members/member-advantage?  I am maxing out on the contributions and will continue to do so.  Also, I don't plan on using the monies and intend to use it mainly for the investment/tax benefits.  Thanks! :)
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sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 01:43:39 PM »
I know Fidelity offers an HSA but does anyone use an external HSA with Vanguard funds or other low cost funds? Please share by replying. Thanks!

I am considering transferring some funds to Health Savings Administrators (linked on Vanguard's website). 

PROS:
They offer 22 Vanguard funds, 12 are Admiral Shares, and the average expense ratio is 0.21%! 
No minimum balance required to invest.  Certainly better than BenefitWallet (Out of 22 funds 15 funds have expense ratios at 1.00% or higher; 8 funds are 0.86% or higher. Plus there is a $2.90/monthly administrative fee.)

CONS:
Fees: http://www.hsaadministrators.info/images/stories/HSA/forms/fee%20schedule_hsa.pdf
$45.00 annual
$25.00 to transfer over your existing HSA (that fee is common). 

Has anyone used this HSA provider? Please share your experiences on this or other HSA providers with investment features that you feel are noteworthy. Thanks! :)
The best thing money can buy is financial freedom.

north texas

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2014, 01:51:25 PM »
I know Fidelity offers an HSA but does anyone use an external HSA with Vanguard funds or other low cost funds? Please share by replying. Thanks!

I am considering transferring some funds to Health Savings Administrators (linked on Vanguard's website). 

PROS:
They offer 22 Vanguard funds, 12 are Admiral Shares, and the average expense ratio is 0.21%! 
No minimum balance required to invest.  Certainly better than BenefitWallet (Out of 22 funds 15 funds have expense ratios at 1.00% or higher; 8 funds are 0.86% or higher. Plus there is a $2.90/monthly administrative fee.)

CONS:
Fees: http://www.hsaadministrators.info/images/stories/HSA/forms/fee%20schedule_hsa.pdf
$45.00 annual
$25.00 to transfer over your existing HSA (that fee is common). 

Has anyone used this HSA provider? Please share your experiences on this or other HSA providers with investment features that you feel are noteworthy. Thanks! :)

I use these guys and have no complaints.  I've never had occasion to pull money out, so I can't speak to the ease with which you can do that. 

HSA Administrators is also the only HSA custodian I've ever used.

bacchi

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 02:09:37 PM »
I use HSA Administrators and, similarly, have no complaints (and haven't made any withdrawals either). They now use HSA Bank as their bank of record so any contributions are ACHed through them. You might be able to use HSA Bank's services in conjunction with HSA Admininstrators.

rtrnow

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 07:30:40 AM »
I'm in the process of switching providers after leaving my employer. HSA Bank and HSA Administrators seem like the best two options. Personally, I'm choosing HSA Bank bc of the fee free Vanguard ETF trades and the ability to avoid all fees by keeping 5K balance.

I'm curious about people's issues withdrawing money. I have never tried to withdraw a huge amount at ounce. However, the two HSA providers I have used thus far provided a debit card. I can withdraw money at anytime or use the card to pay. I always thought the burden of proving it was a valid expense was on the individual. Am I missing something?

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2014, 10:21:42 PM »
Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union:
No fee to open up the hsa - There is a $5 one time membership fee.
$3 monthly fee if your balance is lower than $2500
Annual percentage yield is 1% for the HSA.
You can transfer money from the HSA to TD Ameritrade but there is a $24 for each transfer to and from Eli Lilly to TD Ameritrade.
Need a minimum of $2500 in the HSA with Eli Lilly, above which, you can transfer money over to TD Ameritrade.
At TD Ameritrade you can get Vanguard exchange traded funds at no commission cost. Also, the TD Ameritrade account has no fees associated with it.

United Bank of Michigan:
No fee set up. No monthly fee with $200 min balance. 
Latest statement says I'm earning 2.24% APY, but this is down from 3.25% so the rates may have changed.
No fee to close this account or to transfer funds out of this HSA into another HSA account.
There is no brokerage account option with an HSA account.

You're allowed to have more than one HSA custodian, or bank.