Author Topic: HSA recommendations?  (Read 3188 times)

studentdoc2

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HSA recommendations?
« on: August 05, 2014, 09:38:29 AM »
My partner and I (both students, 33 and 27 yo, respectively) are in the midst of deciding what to do for his health insurance this coming year. Although he's eligible for student health insurance ($3000 premium in one lump sum, $500 deductible), we're thinking of going for a plan we found on the marketplace ($147/mo = $1764/yr premium and $6000 deductible -- appears to be HSA eligible). He's 33, in decent health, non-smoker/drinker, etc, and we having savings to cover the deductible if needed. It seems like the HSA-eligible plan is superior assuming we don't incur more than $1750 in out-of-pocket costs throughout the next year. However, since this isn't an employer-sponsored plan, I have some questions concerning opening an HSA.

1) Can anyone recommend institutions at which to open an HSA? My favorites from research seem to be HSA Bank (http://www.hsabank.com/hsabank/Accountholders) and Health Savings Administrators (http://www.hsaadministrators.info/).

2) Any recommendations on what funds? I am aware we should find a low-fee mutual fund, but could use recommendations on which specifically.

3) Any recommendations on amount to fund or funding schedule? We have $2000 set aside in a savings account for medical expenses (was previously earmarked to go to the student health insurance lump-sum payment -- this $2000 is separate from our emergency fund). We could afford to max out the $3300/yr allowed in HSA plans if needed. We're not currently saving for any retirement accounts, as we're throwing everything at paying off student loans early (currently paying ~$2000/mo for loans in deferment; will resume retirement savings once we've paid off all student loans with >4.5% interest rates). I'm unsure whether we should max out the HSA, just put in the $2000 we have, or not fund it at all -- my partner graduates in the spring of 2015 and will hopefully be finding a job with health insurance through his employer.

Thanks, all!!

ADK_Junkie

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Re: HSA recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 10:13:57 AM »
I've been using HSA Bank (through a work-related HDHP).  I'm pretty pleased.  Though watch out for balance minimums required to avoid monthly maintenance fees (~$5K).  With HSA Bank, you can also set up a TD Ameritrade account where purchasing stocks & ETFs are relatively inexpensive.  The balance at TD Ameritrade does not count as part of your balance with HSA Bank.  Extra fees for paper statements and such (but if you do everything online, its easily avoided).

Overall, I'm pretty happy with HSA Bank.  Everything is super easy.  Good online access plus one set of checks free and we use the bank's debit cards every time we visit the doctor/dentist.

milesdividendmd

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Re: HSA recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 12:32:29 PM »
I've been using HSA Bank (through a work-related HDHP).  I'm pretty pleased.  Though watch out for balance minimums required to avoid monthly maintenance fees (~$5K).  With HSA Bank, you can also set up a TD Ameritrade account where purchasing stocks & ETFs are relatively inexpensive.  The balance at TD Ameritrade does not count as part of your balance with HSA Bank.  Extra fees for paper statements and such (but if you do everything online, its easily avoided).

Overall, I'm pretty happy with HSA Bank.  Everything is super easy.  Good online access plus one set of checks free and we use the bank's debit cards every time we visit the doctor/dentist.

+1  HSA bank.  I rolled over from my workplace HSA into them.

The TD ameritrade option is excellent and allows you your choice of over 100 Fee free ETFs.

There is literally no Lazy portfolio you can't make using only the fee free ETFs.  So choose one and go with it!

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Lazy_portfolios


I have chosen to pay the $5.50/month management fee in order to be fully ivested in the market.  But if you keep about $4900 in the HSA savings account there are no fees at all.

neo von retorch

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Re: HSA recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 01:07:48 PM »
Hmm I signed up with HSA Administrators because I liked the access to Vanguard funds, but it seems like HSA Bank might be better. Does anyone understand my options and the implications of closing this out and switching?

I'm also confused about "allocation." I choose some funds and percentages, and then when I got my initial account letter, it added a line for "debit card" but allocated 0%. Does that mean I won't be able to use my debit card to actually use the HSA to pay for things? Or do I have to change allocations before I do?

studentdoc2

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Re: HSA recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 01:33:52 PM »
Great, thanks for that endorsement! How do you think that compares to Health Savings Administrator's fee schedule of $45 flat fee per year plus 0.0008 per quarter times account balance ($0.80 per $1000 balance per quarter), with the option to invest in Vanguard funds (like total stock market index with a 0.05 expense ratio)?

milesdividendmd

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Re: HSA recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 01:47:20 PM »
Great, thanks for that endorsement! How do you think that compares to Health Savings Administrator's fee schedule of $45 flat fee per year plus 0.0008 per quarter times account balance ($0.80 per $1000 balance per quarter), with the option to invest in Vanguard funds (like total stock market index with a 0.05 expense ratio)?

One point is that you'll have access to The ETF equivalent of VTSAX (VTI) with the exact same expense ratio in the HSA bank account.

But if you want to compare the fees, here's a pretty good write up of many different options including the two you are interested in.

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/choosing-an-hsa-provider/

Enjoy.

studentdoc2

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Re: HSA recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 02:04:47 PM »
One point is that you'll have access to The ETF equivalent of VTSAX (VTI) with the exact same expense ratio in the HSA bank account.

But if you want to compare the fees, here's a pretty good write up of many different options including the two you are interested in.

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/choosing-an-hsa-provider/

Enjoy.

That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! Thank you!