Author Topic: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators  (Read 12570 times)

AK

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #50 on: May 04, 2017, 02:00:56 PM »
Wondering how many of you have a HSA that is not offered through an employers HDHP?  If so are any of you able to make new contributions?  I no longer have an employer with a HDHP and I was instructed by HR prior to leaving that I could not make new contributions.  Is this still correct?

You can contribute to an HSA as long as you are covered by an eligible High Deductible HSA Health Insurance plan. The HSA account is in your name so it's yours and exists as long as it is open regardless of where you're employed.

My HSA was first established when I worked for one employer with an eligible health insurance plan. After I switched jobs, I wasn't eligible to contribute their anymore because my new health insurance plan wasn't HSA eligible. However, at my next employer, it was HSA eligible again so I gave my employer my HSA direct deposit information and my contributions resumed.

Whenever possible, have the HSA contributions go through payroll so that your withholdings for Federal, State, and FICA taxes are lowered. Otherwise, if you have to contribute by transferring funds from your personal checking account into the HSA, your contributions would only be considered pre-tax for Federal and State taxes.

For good measure, contact your HSA vendor and ask them what your options are.

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2017, 02:04:48 PM »
Wondering how many of you have a HSA that is not offered through an employers HDHP?  If so are any of you able to make new contributions?  I no longer have an employer with a HDHP and I was instructed by HR prior to leaving that I could not make new contributions.  Is this still correct?

I have an HSA that is not via an employer's HDHP.  I would be able to make contributions *IF* my 2017 policy qualified.  I was able to in 2016 (with a different policy) and hope to be able to again if my new insurance company can get it's act together.  FWIW: I have never been under an employer based HDHP -- only a self directed HSA.

I wonder if the HR department meant you could no longer make new contributions to the plan they administer.  I suspect you could move it to another administrator and make contributions if your current policy qualifies.
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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2017, 08:06:02 AM »
HSA Authority.
Only fee is $36 Annual.
Portfolio includes all the Vanguard usual suspects.

Took a little time to set up and some snail mail activity, but I can now get money invested electronically in ~3days.

pconnnely

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2017, 10:45:38 AM »
Check out Lively - they are 100% FREE for Individuals and Families. Offer investing (through TD Ameritrade) for $2.50/month and are the top-ranked HSA on HSA Search.
https://livelyme.com/

Please note - I work at Lively.

VoteCthulu

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #54 on: November 02, 2017, 05:31:46 PM »
So Saturna is still the best if you contribute once per year at $15-25 per year. I wish Vanguard would offer an HSA directly!

MaxPowers

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2017, 02:19:56 PM »
So Saturna is still the best if you contribute once per year at $15-25 per year. I wish Vanguard would offer an HSA directly!

I was all set this summer to sign up with Saturna and do a full, single contribution. I was happy with this approach. But my company addressed that our plans will be changing later in the year ( which is now ). So I held off.

I just got our new health plans. HSA is on their and with a employer match now...Great! but it is dispersed directly into the HSA bank of your choosing 2x of month. So it seems to me then, that i have basically just eliminated myself from using Saturna.

Does that seem correct?

I'm ready to max out my HSA for 2017 right now, but since things are so different for next year, seems best to put my 2017 contribution into what plan is best for our new and ongoing 2018 plan.

VoteCthulu

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2017, 05:43:54 PM »
Well, you can either put in Saturna and just invest it once a year, or you can pit is somewhere like HSA bank and pay about $66/year to invest it every two weeks.

I doubt it will make a huge difference either way.

harvestbook

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2017, 05:50:50 PM »
Morningstar did a comparison of HSAs, depending on your needs:
http://www.morningstar.com/blog/2017/09/25/best-hsa-investment.html

I am using Health Savings Administrators now but will change to the HSA Authority next year. Health Savings Administrators is great for ease of use, first-dollar investing, and dollar-cost averaging, all electronic, no snail mail or phone calls needed, but the cost is a little excessive.
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Crease

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2017, 06:01:24 AM »
Possibly dumb question but here goes: when is a HDHP + HSA a better value than alternative plans?

I'm about to on-board with a new firm. They offer a few health care options, two of which are HSA compatible and the firm contributes $1000 towards the HSA. Here's the glitch: My wife is a student expected to graduate in May and I don't want her to have a gap in coverage while she's out of school and hunting for the right job. If it were just me, I'd dive into an HDHP + HSA model because I consume very little in health care. My wife, however, relies on multiple prescriptions, sees doctors regularly, and can be expected to have an ER visit once or twice a year. If I'm buying coverage for the both of us, does HDHP + HSA still make sense or does a higher premium lower deductible/coinsurance/oop max plan make more sense? I've used the HDHP Analysis tab in the case study spreadsheet and it gives me a crossover point where HDHP + HSA begins to cost more, but I feel the spreadsheet oversimplifies the analysis. Any thoughts?



« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 06:21:38 AM by Crease »

boarder42

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2017, 06:06:25 AM »
Possibly dumb question but here goes:when is a HDHP + HSA a better value than alternative plans?

I'm about to on-board with a new firm. They offer a few health care options, two of which are HSA compatible and the firm contributes $1000 towards the HSA. Here's the glitch: My wife is a student expected to graduate in May and I don't want her to have a gap in coverage while she's out of school and hunting for the right job. If it were just me, I'd dive into an HDHP + HSA model because I consume very little in health care. My wife, however, relies on multiple prescriptions, sees doctors regularly, and can be expected to have an ER visit once or twice a year. If I'm buying coverage for the both of us, does HDHP + HSA still make sense or does a higher premium lower deductible/coinsurance/oop max plan make more sense?

its a math equation you have to do the math.  typically in most instances worst case scenario would be maxing out your OOP max - which ironically enough in most instances the HDHP with HSA still comes out ahead assuming you're company lets you do payroll deduct b/c you will bypass FICA taxes too.  - basically you need to lay out all the plan info and costs for your plans and then do a cost comparison based on your expected costs for a year and worst case costs for a year. keeping in mind you need to max your HSA to take full advantage of the tax/FICA deducts.
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Crease

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2017, 06:14:23 AM »
Possibly dumb question but here goes:when is a HDHP + HSA a better value than alternative plans?

I'm about to on-board with a new firm. They offer a few health care options, two of which are HSA compatible and the firm contributes $1000 towards the HSA. Here's the glitch: My wife is a student expected to graduate in May and I don't want her to have a gap in coverage while she's out of school and hunting for the right job. If it were just me, I'd dive into an HDHP + HSA model because I consume very little in health care. My wife, however, relies on multiple prescriptions, sees doctors regularly, and can be expected to have an ER visit once or twice a year. If I'm buying coverage for the both of us, does HDHP + HSA still make sense or does a higher premium lower deductible/coinsurance/oop max plan make more sense?

its a math equation you have to do the math.  typically in most instances worst case scenario would be maxing out your OOP max - which ironically enough in most instances the HDHP with HSA still comes out ahead assuming you're company lets you do payroll deduct b/c you will bypass FICA taxes too.  - basically you need to lay out all the plan info and costs for your plans and then do a cost comparison based on your expected costs for a year and worst case costs for a year. keeping in mind you need to max your HSA to take full advantage of the tax/FICA deducts.

Thank you.

Would a good place to start be to call up my wife's current insurer and ask them for a 2017 breakdown of her medical charges/expenses? Would the insurer also be able to tell me how much it would cost us for the same services in 2018 under their plans offered by my employer (same insurer). 
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 07:56:38 AM by Crease »

DeltaT

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2017, 07:19:33 AM »
I've got the majority of my HSA (around $7,000) with HealthEquity. I've noticed a lot of people say that health equity is pretty bad. Curious as to why or if they are doing something hidden with fees? The only fees I've visibly seen are investment fees but these are all vanguard funds so it's only .03%. Please advise on what makes them bad.

boarder42

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2017, 09:40:13 AM »
Possibly dumb question but here goes:when is a HDHP + HSA a better value than alternative plans?

I'm about to on-board with a new firm. They offer a few health care options, two of which are HSA compatible and the firm contributes $1000 towards the HSA. Here's the glitch: My wife is a student expected to graduate in May and I don't want her to have a gap in coverage while she's out of school and hunting for the right job. If it were just me, I'd dive into an HDHP + HSA model because I consume very little in health care. My wife, however, relies on multiple prescriptions, sees doctors regularly, and can be expected to have an ER visit once or twice a year. If I'm buying coverage for the both of us, does HDHP + HSA still make sense or does a higher premium lower deductible/coinsurance/oop max plan make more sense?

its a math equation you have to do the math.  typically in most instances worst case scenario would be maxing out your OOP max - which ironically enough in most instances the HDHP with HSA still comes out ahead assuming you're company lets you do payroll deduct b/c you will bypass FICA taxes too.  - basically you need to lay out all the plan info and costs for your plans and then do a cost comparison based on your expected costs for a year and worst case costs for a year. keeping in mind you need to max your HSA to take full advantage of the tax/FICA deducts.

Thank you.

Would a good place to start be to call up my wife's current insurer and ask them for a 2017 breakdown of her medical charges/expenses? Would the insurer also be able to tell me how much it would cost us for the same services in 2018 under their plans offered by my employer (same insurer).

no you start with what the two plans cost you and the cost savings using the HSA vehicle - then start applying your costs. - also i dont know why you would make a phone call - your information should be readily available online to understand what you spent last year.

99/100 times an HSA flat out wins and it doesnt matter what your spending was - there is a small percentage of the time where medications you take consistently make a higher premium plan out weigh the lower premium/ HSA tax savings of the HDHP.
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VoteCthulu

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2017, 10:51:34 AM »
I've got the majority of my HSA (around $7,000) with HealthEquity. I've noticed a lot of people say that health equity is pretty bad. Curious as to why or if they are doing something hidden with fees? The only fees I've visibly seen are investment fees but these are all vanguard funds so it's only .03%. Please advise on what makes them bad.
HealthEquity is terrible because they have the highest fees I've seen, both a monthly dollar fee and an investment wrapper fee. Often a company will pay some or all of these fees while you're employed, but staying with them after you leave would cost you a lot more than moving to any of the low cost providers.

seattlecyclone

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2017, 12:03:24 PM »
Possibly dumb question but here goes: when is a HDHP + HSA a better value than alternative plans?

I'm about to on-board with a new firm. They offer a few health care options, two of which are HSA compatible and the firm contributes $1000 towards the HSA. Here's the glitch: My wife is a student expected to graduate in May and I don't want her to have a gap in coverage while she's out of school and hunting for the right job. If it were just me, I'd dive into an HDHP + HSA model because I consume very little in health care. My wife, however, relies on multiple prescriptions, sees doctors regularly, and can be expected to have an ER visit once or twice a year. If I'm buying coverage for the both of us, does HDHP + HSA still make sense or does a higher premium lower deductible/coinsurance/oop max plan make more sense? I've used the HDHP Analysis tab in the case study spreadsheet and it gives me a crossover point where HDHP + HSA begins to cost more, but I feel the spreadsheet oversimplifies the analysis. Any thoughts?

This is really a very individualized question that depends on your plan offerings and your medical expenses. Different employers subsidize their medical insurance plans differently. In some companies, the HDHP may be a no-brainer for most people, while in other companies perhaps they offer a big enough subsidy for the fancier plans that those may be more appealing to more people.

As to your medical expenses, take a look at the explanation of benefits forms that your partner currently gets from her insurance. That should give you a pretty good idea. The new insurance company will likely have slightly different negotiated rates for the services she needs, but it should be in the same ballpark.

I've got the majority of my HSA (around $7,000) with HealthEquity. I've noticed a lot of people say that health equity is pretty bad. Curious as to why or if they are doing something hidden with fees? The only fees I've visibly seen are investment fees but these are all vanguard funds so it's only .03%. Please advise on what makes them bad.
HealthEquity is terrible because they have the highest fees I've seen, both a monthly dollar fee and an investment wrapper fee. Often a company will pay some or all of these fees while you're employed, but staying with them after you leave would cost you a lot more than moving to any of the low cost providers.

Every HSA provider charges fees. HealthEquity's aren't the best, but they aren't all that terrible either. With their Index Investor plan, there's an account fee of $36/year plus 0.24% of assets, in addition to the underlying fund expenses. For a $20k HSA balance invested in their 0.02% S&P 500 fund, that comes out to 0.44% overall expenses.

That Lively option mentioned above looks like a nice alternative though. Assuming you want to invest, you'll pay a $2.50/month fee for the TD Ameritrade account, and you can invest in some commission-free ETFs like a 0.04% iShares S&P 500 fund. For a $20k HSA balance that comes out to 0.19% total expenses. Definitely better than HealthEquity.
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VoteCthulu

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2017, 12:47:47 PM »
I forgot to mention that HealthEquity also forces you to keep $1000 in cash, so assuming a 7% average return makes it cost another $70/yr.

DeltaT

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #66 on: November 15, 2017, 04:25:19 AM »
I've got the majority of my HSA (around $7,000) with HealthEquity. I've noticed a lot of people say that health equity is pretty bad. Curious as to why or if they are doing something hidden with fees? The only fees I've visibly seen are investment fees but these are all vanguard funds so it's only .03%. Please advise on what makes them bad.
HealthEquity is terrible because they have the highest fees I've seen, both a monthly dollar fee and an investment wrapper fee. Often a company will pay some or all of these fees while you're employed, but staying with them after you leave would cost you a lot more than moving to any of the low cost providers.

maybe I am getting the investment wrapper fee mixed up with what I thought was just the expense ratio of the mutual funds I hold. What low cost HSA do you recommend? I also have some funds set up with Saturna, so a transfer there would likely be easier than others if Saturna is a good one.

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2017, 06:56:16 AM »
"Best HSA" really depends on your needs and personal situation. Do you want to use it to pay for current expenses only? Do you want an HSA debit card? Do you want it to all stay invested as a stealth IRA? Do you want the broadest range of investment options? Do you want a mix of both? Can you make your full contribution in a single lump sum each year (which makes Saturna the cheapest option) or do you prefer to DCA? Do you mind the hassle of phone calls and paper checks to move your money around, or do you want to do it all purely online?

For example, Saturna may be the "cheapest" but only if you lump sum each year since they charge for each contribution activity, and also you need to send a paper check and application, so that's two strikes in my book. I am going to give HSA Authority a try but there you have to call to move your money from checking to investment and back again (if you want to use a card or checks to pay for current expenses.) I might try Lively if they get established and look solid. I expect a lot of churn in various HSA options in the years ahead and I don't want to waste a lot of time and money jumping around just to save $20.

I posted the Morningstar link where you can download their PDF analysis on the various largest ones (it's not comprehensive, since there are hundreds if not thousands of options, but these are the top ones): http://www.morningstar.com/blog/2017/09/25/best-hsa-investment.html
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 07:00:10 AM by harvestbook »
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VoteCthulu

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #68 on: November 15, 2017, 07:07:33 AM »
maybe I am getting the investment wrapper fee mixed up with what I thought was just the expense ratio of the mutual funds I hold. What low cost HSA do you recommend? I also have some funds set up with Saturna, so a transfer there would likely be easier than others if Saturna is a good one.
Saturna has the lowest fees if you invest one lump sum per year or less. Lively seems to be least expensive if you want to invest more often (although they're very new, so don't be surprised if they raise their fees in a few years).

I posted the Morningstar link where you can download their PDF analysis on the various largest ones (it's not comprehensive, since there are hundreds if not thousands of options, but these are the top ones): http://www.morningstar.com/blog/2017/09/25/best-hsa-investment.html
This analysis is worthless, as all of the investment options they chose were expensive (the lowest was 0.57% ER I think). When you only look in the sewer the shiniest turd wins.

DeltaT

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2017, 09:04:28 AM »
"Best HSA" really depends on your needs and personal situation. Do you want to use it to pay for current expenses only? Do you want an HSA debit card? Do you want it to all stay invested as a stealth IRA? Do you want the broadest range of investment options? Do you want a mix of both? Can you make your full contribution in a single lump sum each year (which makes Saturna the cheapest option) or do you prefer to DCA? Do you mind the hassle of phone calls and paper checks to move your money around, or do you want to do it all purely online?

For example, Saturna may be the "cheapest" but only if you lump sum each year since they charge for each contribution activity, and also you need to send a paper check and application, so that's two strikes in my book. I am going to give HSA Authority a try but there you have to call to move your money from checking to investment and back again (if you want to use a card or checks to pay for current expenses.) I might try Lively if they get established and look solid. I expect a lot of churn in various HSA options in the years ahead and I don't want to waste a lot of time and money jumping around just to save $20.

I posted the Morningstar link where you can download their PDF analysis on the various largest ones (it's not comprehensive, since there are hundreds if not thousands of options, but these are the top ones): http://www.morningstar.com/blog/2017/09/25/best-hsa-investment.html


Do you want it to all stay invested as a stealth IRA? YES!!!!

My opinion is that the triple tax shelter of an HSA is just too good of a deal for me to be spending out of it now at this stage in my life.

I have a hdhp and rarely if ever go to the doctor. When I do, I'll pay out of pocket now, and not touch my HSA, and only use it around retirement. So based on that, I'm thinking Saturna is my best option. Making one lump sum investment per year is no big deal for me. Does that one lump sum have to go into one asset class / fund only? Or can it be spread out accordingly?


VoteCthulu

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #70 on: November 15, 2017, 12:58:45 PM »
I don't use Saturna, but as far as I understand their fee is per trade, so if you wanted to buy multiple funds it costs $15-25 each.

I just put my whole HSA into an S&P500 fund and rebalance the rest of my portfolio to account for that, but if you need more than that for any reason another provider might be cheaper.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 11:51:22 AM by VoteCthulu »

dandarc

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Re: best HSA: HSABank vs HSA Administrators
« Reply #71 on: February 16, 2018, 07:35:49 AM »
HSA Authority.
Only fee is $36 Annual.
Portfolio includes all the Vanguard usual suspects.

Took a little time to set up and some snail mail activity, but I can now get money invested electronically in ~3days.
Just signed up for the investment account.  Does it just sweep from the checking automatically to put money in?  All the instructions are around getting money out.