Author Topic: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?  (Read 6345 times)

meyla

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What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« on: November 21, 2014, 07:07:03 AM »
I switched this open enrollment to an HDHP. Previously, I had a PPO which was nice but I think the HDHP fits my lifestyle a little better since I'm only 25, rarely get sick, avoid going to the doctor, and hate spending money on something I don't use. My employer had offered an option for an HSA, but I didn't see any reason to use their recommendation. My employer doesn't match any contributions and their HSA provider had no investment options, only a flat interest rate which wasn't significantly better than me putting that money in an Ally account. The only benefit would be that I avoid the taxes on the contributions upfront (directly withdrawn from my paycheck) instead of getting them back in my refund. Now I'm looking for an HSA provider on my own!

Has anyone had positive experiences with their HSA providers and would like to recommend them? Am I wrong for declining my employer's HSA?

Rural

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 10:26:18 AM »
Check to see if your employer will make deposits pretax in an alternate HSA. Mine won't, so I keep the minimum amount there and transfer to a custodian with better investment options.

Nothlit

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 10:56:25 AM »
You have overlooked one thing with regard to using your employer's HSA. If you contribute pre-tax through your employer, you also save on FICA (Social Security & Medicare) taxes, which you cannot get back in your income tax refund (because they are not "income" taxes; they are "payroll" taxes). You can always contribute through your employer's HSA and then once a year do a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer from that HSA to one of your choosing. That's what I do.

ioseftavi

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 11:26:38 AM »
OptumHealth.  Recommend them- some extremely low-cost vanguard funds that you can buy in your HSA with the money you want to invest.

MDM

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 02:09:58 PM »
See http://whitecoatinvestor.com/choosing-an-hsa-provider/ for a good review of HSA plans offered by the providers listed below. 

The article generally recommends
     HSA Bank or Fidelity HSA

It also covers
     HSA Administrators
     Alliant Credit Union
     Stanford Federal Credit Union
     Wells Fargo
     Adirondack Trust
     Lake Michigan Credit Union
     Bank of the Sierra

Any of the above might be "best" for someone, depending on one's specific plans for an HSA.

Also, the article is a couple of years old so things may have changed.  If anyone knows of a material change, let us know.

Wings

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 06:49:40 PM »
Does anyone use Alliant Credit Union or HSA Bank?  I currently have my HSA with my local credit union where I have all my other local bank accounts, but it pays .01% interest and has no investment option.  I used it up the last few years, but this year I'm hoping to invest it instead of needing to use the funds, and thus avail myself of some investment options.  The post/link from 2012 was helpful, but now that things have changed, I'm wondering if anyone has updated info. 

Does anyone have updated or current (2015) experience with HSA Bank, Optum or Alliant?
Thanks in advance.
Terri
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 06:59:43 PM by Wings »

BeardedLady

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2015, 07:28:16 PM »
My husband and I use HSA bank. They use Ameritrade for their investments, and there are some good mutual fund options. The kicker is that HSA Bank charges an investment fee and an additional fee if you do not keep over a certain amount in the savings account part of it (something like $5-6K last I checked.) The fees total $5.50 per month, but you tend to make a lot more than that if the money is invested. I usually keep about $500 in the savings account since it can take a few days to transfer if needed, but I invest the rest. Their online portal makes it easy to make transfers and buy funds. We even have my husband's employer contributing pre-tax deductions from his paycheck to it even though it is not the HSA that came "standard" with his HDHP.

If anyone knows of one that lets you invest as much as you want without fees, I am always looking to reduce costs. :)

MDM

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2015, 07:41:34 PM »
If anyone knows of one that lets you invest as much as you want without fees, I am always looking to reduce costs. :)
From the article linked above, if you happen (e.g., if that is where your 401k is held) to have >$250K at Fidelity the HSA is free.  Not exactly an easy option to exercise, but I haven't seen any other free ones....

SpareChange

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2015, 12:10:50 AM »
I also use HSA Bank. I already used TD Ameritrade for my IRA, taxable investments, and checking, so it was convenient to have all my accounts linked together. If you end up with HSA Bank,and want to use the Ameritrade investment option, make sure you enroll the Ameritrade account in the no commision fee etf program. I don't know whether it's more advantageous to have the funds payroll deducted or not. I did read in the Bogleheads wiki that for most people, unless you are high income, the tax savings probably aren't worth the reduction in SS bennies, but I haven't tried to follow the math on that. 

Wings

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 10:37:28 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, looks like HSA Bank is the most common and seemingly easiest option.  I appreciate this community and the like minded nature of all the Q&A here!
:)

Prepube

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2015, 12:01:18 PM »
Can't go wrong with HSA Bank.  I've been with them for a very long time.  With them, as with all health savings accounts, be sure you document everything.  I mean everything.  Some medical services provided by certain vendors are not coded in their system as "medical", such as ambulance rides or emergency evacuation due to medical problems.  I fought with them for a couple years over a 5000 bill for a 50 mile ambulance ride that they were refusing to reimburse.  Everything worked out in the end, but the problem was that I had not documented things well enough (I had other things on my mind at the time).  Everything else has been really easy.  Deposits, withdrawals, customer service, investments, all of it has been no problem since they began.  Please let us know how setting everything up goes for you.  I am in my 50s now, by the way, and electing to go with an HSA was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Wings

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2015, 08:56:54 PM »
Hi.  So with HSA bank, you have to get their approval for the payment?  With my current HSA, I just write the check or swipe the card and that's it.  I'm also a provider for HSA and as long as our code (we use square to run their card) is good, which it as since we are listed as a provider, there shouldn't be a problem. 
Thanks for that insight--- so how did HSA bank try to hold up your payment or reimbursement? 
For me currently, I'm in charge of all of it.  The credit union is more like...well, like my HSA pimp and I'm in charge of all of it.  The only reason I am considering changing is because there isn't an investment option.
Thanks again for the great feedback!
Terri

Candace

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 10:52:39 AM »
Reviving this old thread. I hope it's appropriate to do so. Some of the information has probably changed in the past couple of years.

I'm looking for an HSA provider for my husband and myself. It would be an individual account, not through a business. We each have HDHPs. He is 55 and so eligible for catch-up contributions. I'm 51.

The providers that seem to be recommended the most both here and at the Bogleheads forum (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=207051) are HSA Bank, HealthEquity, and Saturna.

I am looking for an account that isn't horribly difficult to set up, that will provide low-cost Vanguard index mutual funds, and has reasonable fees on account maintenance. I also want to use a debit card to pay my medical bills, and Saturna doesn't provide one. I'm shying away from the ones where people have reported customer service problems like HealthEquity.

So by process of elimination it seems like HSA Bank is something I should look at closely. Does anyone have any input? Have you used these providers? Do you like others as opposed to these?

One last, probably stupid question. Insurance premiums are reimbursable through HSAs, right? Not just co-pays and co-insurance? Because I would be wanting to use my HSA for long-term investing, but the premiums will eat up the entire allowable yearly contribution and then some.

ETA: Just answered the question. The premiums are not "qualified medical expenses" according to the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969#en_US_2016_publink1000204083). So basically now that I'm FIREd, is there any way to pay for insurance premiums with before-tax money? Maybe there isn't, and that's just part of the price I pay for not being at a clown job.

Sorry for the disjointedness of this post. I've spent several hours looking at this issue now and my head is spinning.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 11:19:58 AM by Candace »

MDM

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 11:24:12 AM »
Insurance premiums are reimbursable through HSAs, right? Not just co-pays and co-insurance? Because I would be wanting to use my HSA for long-term investing, but the premiums will eat up the entire allowable yearly contribution and then some.

ETA: Just answered the question. The premiums are not "qualified medical expenses" according to the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969#en_US_2016_publink1000204083). So basically now that I'm FIREd, is there any way to pay for insurance premiums with before-tax money? Maybe there isn't, and that's just part of the price I pay for not being at a clown job.
 
Withdrawals to pay for some types of medical insurance premiums are also tax-free, but it depends on your age and type of insurance.

Candace

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 11:34:28 AM »
Insurance premiums are reimbursable through HSAs, right? Not just co-pays and co-insurance? Because I would be wanting to use my HSA for long-term investing, but the premiums will eat up the entire allowable yearly contribution and then some.

ETA: Just answered the question. The premiums are not "qualified medical expenses" according to the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969#en_US_2016_publink1000204083). So basically now that I'm FIREd, is there any way to pay for insurance premiums with before-tax money? Maybe there isn't, and that's just part of the price I pay for not being at a clown job.
 
Withdrawals to pay for some types of medical insurance premiums are also tax-free, but it depends on your age and type of insurance.

From your link:
"As detailed in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2004-2 (January 12, 2004) - Health Savings Accounts, you can use HSA funds to pay for qualified long-term care insurance (but only up to IRS specified dollar amounts), COBRA health care continuation coverage, and health care coverage while an individual is receiving unemployment compensation."

That's not a lot of people.

We have a lot of early-retired people on this forum, and I'm thinking that using HSAs has to be at least somewhat popular even though the premiums don't qualify. The contributions are shielded from federal tax, the earnings grow tax-free, and withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free. Withdrawals for other expenses are taxable.

MDM

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2017, 11:43:29 AM »
Withdrawals to pay for some types of medical insurance premiums are also tax-free, but it depends on your age and type of insurance.

From your link:
"As detailed in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2004-2 (January 12, 2004) - Health Savings Accounts, you can use HSA funds to pay for qualified long-term care insurance (but only up to IRS specified dollar amounts), COBRA health care continuation coverage, and health care coverage while an individual is receiving unemployment compensation."

That's not a lot of people.

We have a lot of early-retired people on this forum, and I'm thinking that using HSAs has to be at least somewhat popular even though the premiums don't qualify. The contributions are shielded from federal tax, the earnings grow tax-free, and withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free. Withdrawals for other expenses are taxable.
The quote from the link continues: "Furthermore, once reaching age 65, premiums for Medicare Part A or B, Medicare HMO, and the employee share of premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance, including premiums for employer-sponsored retiree health insurance can be paid from an HSA."

As noted, it depends on your age and type of insurance.  Some people reading this won't qualify, and some will.  We don't want to banish all non-early retirees to Bogleheads. :)

Yes, HSAs are a good deal for a number of reasons.

Candace

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2017, 11:47:32 AM »
Withdrawals to pay for some types of medical insurance premiums are also tax-free, but it depends on your age and type of insurance.

From your link:
"As detailed in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2004-2 (January 12, 2004) - Health Savings Accounts, you can use HSA funds to pay for qualified long-term care insurance (but only up to IRS specified dollar amounts), COBRA health care continuation coverage, and health care coverage while an individual is receiving unemployment compensation."

That's not a lot of people.

We have a lot of early-retired people on this forum, and I'm thinking that using HSAs has to be at least somewhat popular even though the premiums don't qualify. The contributions are shielded from federal tax, the earnings grow tax-free, and withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free. Withdrawals for other expenses are taxable.
The quote from the link continues: "Furthermore, once reaching age 65, premiums for Medicare Part A or B, Medicare HMO, and the employee share of premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance, including premiums for employer-sponsored retiree health insurance can be paid from an HSA."

As noted, it depends on your age and type of insurance.  Some people reading this won't qualify, and some will.  We don't want to banish all non-early retirees to Bogleheads. :)

Yes, HSAs are a good deal for a number of reasons.

Thanks. I stopped reading at "once reaching age 65..." since I'm only 51. Nice to know that over-65's can pay their premiums pre-tax.

But back to my original question -- does anyone know of a good provider of individual HSAs that:

1) the process of setup is not too unreasonable
2) has decent fees and customer service (I don't mind paying more for better service)
3) has access to Vanguard index funds for investments
4) will provide a debit card to pay the medical bills with?

Candace

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2017, 12:36:15 PM »
I just got access to this Morningstar report on HSA providers. Haven't read it yet, but thought I would share.

http://images.mscomm.morningstar.com/Web/MorningstarInc/%7B17b4518e-3b3d-466e-9d4b-1700ed3354d1%7D_2017_Health_Savings_Account_Landscape.pdf

tralfamadorian

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2017, 02:51:47 PM »
1) the process of setup is not too unreasonable
2) has decent fees and customer service (I don't mind paying more for better service)
3) has access to Vanguard index funds for investments
4) will provide a debit card to pay the medical bills with?

HSA Bank
1) Very easy and online
2) $5.50/mo in fees split into $2.50 and $3.  Former is fixed and the latter is if the cash balance is below $5k.  So basically $36/yr on the first $5k invested or an effective 0.72% service fee.  I called them twice with questions and wait times were short and call center folks knowledgeable. 
3) Investments through TDAmeritrade and all vanguard funds therein.
4) I don't have one but they advertise it as an option.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 07:03:49 PM by tralfamadorian »

Candace

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 06:59:47 PM »
1) the process of setup is not too unreasonable
2) has decent fees and customer service (I don't mind paying more for better service)
3) has access to Vanguard index funds for investments
4) will provide a debit card to pay the medical bills with?

HSA Bank
1) Very easy and online
2) $5.50/mo in fees split into $2.50 and $3.  Former is fixed and the later is if the cash balance is below $5k.  So basically $36/yr on the first $5k invested or an effective 0.72% service fee.  I called them twice with questions and wait times were short and call center folks knowledgeable. 
3) Investments through TDAmeritrade and all vanguard funds therein.
4) I don't have one but they advertise it as an option.

Thanks! Looks like it's between them and someone called HSA Authority, which company the Morningstar report speaks well of. I'll be making a decision in the next few days I hope.

jodelino

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2017, 09:40:40 PM »
On my to-do list is looking at Lively, a new HSA provider:

https://livelyme.com

Has anyone tried them?

CoffeeAndDonuts

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2017, 09:49:57 PM »
I rarely see it mentioned but I'm very happy with selectaccount which, once assets reach $10k, allows full schwab brokerage access including many no-fee ETFs and mutual funds.

It's rated in the report link above but that report doesn't ever mention the brokerage options provided by several hsa custodians.

boarder42

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2017, 06:06:02 AM »
We have Optum but hsa bank or Fidelity are better if you can make a choice.  They have similar options to Optum and allow you to keep less liquid.  Optum forces 2k and that's a sizable amount of idle cash

Merrie

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2017, 11:10:16 AM »
I am very interested in this topic. My employer just introduced an HSA option for 2018. Theirs is through Optum. I plan to put in the max allowed. I see upthread that it makes sense to either use your employer's HSA or see if they'll let you contribute pre-tax to another one to escape payroll taxes. (I make enough that by the end of the year I'm no longer paying Medicare tax, but I don't think FICA phases out like that.) My employer will also contribute a princely $300 to our HSA, but hey, that's better than 0. What are the terms like at Optum? Should I be thinking of rolling my account over somewhere else at some point, and if so, when and where?

MDM

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2017, 11:13:56 AM »
Health savings account - Bogleheads is another good resource for short reviews of many plans.

Merrie

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2017, 12:16:21 PM »
Thanks. Optum doesn't look dramatically worse than anywhere else from that, I guess I will start with them and then go from there.

MaxPowers

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2017, 05:26:09 PM »
On my to-do list is looking at Lively, a new HSA provider:

https://livelyme.com

Has anyone tried them?

Bogleheads has a very good thread on the topic. Make sure to read it through the end. A lot changed between September 2017 and current.

Overall, i think i'm going this route. My employer gives a $750 contribution, but distributed evenly over each paycheck. Most HSA's ( including Saturna which was my original pick ) just aren't conducive to that.

pilotmatt

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Re: What HSA Provider Do You Recommend?
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2017, 06:44:02 PM »
On my to-do list is looking at Lively, a new HSA provider:

https://livelyme.com

Has anyone tried them?

Bogleheads has a very good thread on the topic. Make sure to read it through the end. A lot changed between September 2017 and current.

Overall, i think i'm going this route. My employer gives a $750 contribution, but distributed evenly over each paycheck. Most HSA's ( including Saturna which was my original pick ) just aren't conducive to that.
With all the tdameritrade changes, considering going to hsaauthority.   Company offers healthequity but with higher balances their fee really adds up.

If I dont trade, it wont cost to hold the existing vanguard funds at tda, but if I go to buy more it's going to add up, also.

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