Author Topic: HSA consolidation for both investing and reimbursements  (Read 1926 times)


  • Bristles
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HSA consolidation for both investing and reimbursements
« on: August 11, 2016, 12:50:13 PM »
I have too many HSA accounts! So I'm trying to get organized and consolidate them into one. Unlike many of you, I don't use my HSA solely as an investment vehicle, although I do funnel some of the cash into the account's available funds; the rest I keep in the savings portion and once in awhile, reimburse myself for medical expenses throughout the year. (I pay myself directly, often several months/years after I paid the medical provider with my CC for the points/miles.)

Right now I have HSAs at Health Equity and BancorpHSA. Here's how I use them:

-Health Equity:
-------cash balance is high enough that I don't incur any account management fees
-------a handful of mutual funds, using the ones with the lowest expense ratios I could find (they auto DRIP, which can be annoying because I live in California, where HSAs don't have the same tax benefits)
-------occasionally reimburse myself from the cash balance
-------cash + investments balance is almost $6000
-------website is easy to navigate and I've always found the 24/7 customer service reps helpful and informative

------cash balance is lower than the $2,500 minimum to avoid fees, so I've just started paying $2.50/month as I've recently left my previous employer who hired out Bancorp to administer
------cash balance about $1500
------occasionally reimburse myself from the cash balance, more often from this account than HealthEquity
------website/user experience is ugh.

Since the savings account rates at each account are so negligible, I'm not even really using that as any kind of comparison measurement. Again, since I'm in CA, any interest within the HSAs is taxable.

Based on my research, I am thinking of the following candidates:

-Elements Credit Union: $24 fee every time I transfer to TD so I would limit this activity to once a year, and $3/month for savings balances below $2,500. Access to Vanguard ETFs. Not sure if I can just keep $60 in the savings account every year if I decide to go all-in investment-wise and let that annual balance be my "fee fund."

-HSA Bank: $2.50/month unless savings account is <$5k and $3.00/month to invest unless savings account is <$5k but would have access to Vanguard ETFs. So $66/year in total fees. This seems to be the most popular choice and I'd love to know why.

-Saturna: no fees, except the $14.95/trade commission fee (so I would limit buys to once a year) with access to Vanguard funds. As far as I can tell, no minimum required?

I have an HSA with my new employer, but my goal going forward is to use that account as my primary reimbursement vehicle, and allow the non-employer HSA to grow in investments but also serve as a back-up for funds if I deplete my new HSA towards medical expenses. (Confession: I'm having a hard time figuring out where my new HSA even IS and the HR coordinator hasn't been terribly helpful in solving this riddle: all the administrators she keeps mentioning don't have me in their system. So I am not comfortable with dumping my old HSA accounts into my new one at this time, but who knows--I may find that the new administrator blows everyone out of the water and I end up consolidating everything into it. [Unlikely, right?])

For those of you who have any of these accounts, and use them not only for investing but also for belated reimbursements, what has your experience been like? How easy/difficult is it to reimburse yourself via ACH? How easy/difficult is it to migrate money to/from the investment side? Do you like the investment offerings? Are the funds auto DRIP (when applicable) or can I turn that off?

Wow, this post hasn't been exactly an easy read, has it? Sorry about the lack of clarity!

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: HSA consolidation for both investing and reimbursements
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 03:18:17 PM »
Didn't want to see this thread go unanswered.  Answers (IMHO) to the questions I can discern:

1.  Should I consolidate HSA's? (assumed question?)
A: YES so you can have a one-stop-shop for organizing HSA balances.

2. [Do people] use [HSA's] for investing AND for belated reimbursements? (implied question)
A: Yes, and no.  For the past two (2x) years, I've only used my HSA for investing.  I have not reimbursed expenses - for now I pay any medical expenses out-of-pocket, but am saving my receipts to withdraw the $$ in FI if needed.

3. What are people's personal experience with these HSA administrators?
A: My company uses HSAbank - requires a $3K cash balance with HSA bank to avoid monthly fees; I transfer everything above $3K to the connected Ameritrade trading account.  Setting up the Ameritrade account was fairly straight-forward. 

4. How easy/difficult is it to reimburse yourself via ACH?
A: N/A. Seems straight-forward, but I have no direct experience doing reimbursements.

5. How easy/difficult is it to migrate money to/from the investment side?
A: Very straight-forward - website transfer.  Remind yourself monthly to check balances, and transfer new contributions to the Ameritrade account. [If my company were more consistent on when they contribute, I would set up automatic transfers, but alas [for me]... dates when new contributions show-up in my HSAbank account varies month to month.]

6. Do you like the investment offerings?
A: The Ameritrade account gives complete freedom regarding investment choices.  I can purchase anything I want in the Ameritrade account.  I have a mix of VTI, and a couple of REIT's (SNH, LADR, etc), but pay the usual Ameritrade commission on straight-up 'trades' ($7.95/trade)

7. Are the funds auto DRIP (when applicable) or can I turn that off?
A: Any reputable stock trading website allows YOU to CONFIGURE dividend disbursements - a) deposit as cash, or b) re-invest (DRIP).  I'm most familiar with Fidelity in this regard - it's setup at the account-level. Click a radio-button-click next to each investment / stock held in the account either cash, or re-invest.  YOU have full control over dividend disbursements.

To read more from earlier mustachian answers, do a search-engine search:
" hsa reimbursement"
[I prefer this method of searching the forums - the forum search 'feature' cannot compete with global search 'engines'.]

Hope this helps, & hope I correctly discerned your questions.