Author Topic: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?  (Read 26725 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!

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!

DrF

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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! :)

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! :)

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! :)

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.

Spork

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2015, 08:49:38 AM »
Nothing useful to add here... Just commenting to watch the thread.  Nothing to see here.

MooseOutFront

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2015, 09:25:25 AM »
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.
You sure about that $24 fee?  I just set up with ELFCU (Elements now) and opened the TDA brokerage option and haven't seen this fee mentioned or charged.

BlueMR2

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2015, 10:01:03 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).

Beats mine.  Currently in a 0.10% account (due to lack of time to get something better setup).  We found out we were going to an HSA just 2 days before signup had to be complete.  Only the place pre-arranged for us could get it done in time.

Looking to roll it over someplace else, but I'll have to keep an eye on those minimum requirements since mine is brand new...

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2015, 10:31:36 AM »
Hello Moose,

Unfortunately, I was charged and told about this fee, which occurred back in Sept. 2014.  Maybe now that ELFCU has become Elements Financial they no longer charge that fee.  Going forward My strategy was going to be to accumulate a fair amount before I would transfer money from the Elements HSA to the connected TD Ameritrade brokerage portion so that the fee wouldn't take such a large percentage bite.

David

MooseOutFront

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2015, 12:14:55 PM »
You're right.  I see it now under misc fees. $24.00 for domestic wire transfers (includes HSA investment transfers).

Damnitt.  I went with ELFCU due to the lower fees vs HSA bank.  Assuming you invest the entire HSA balance in each (I will) then you get charged $3.00/mo at ELFCU compared to $3.00 +$2.50 = 5.50/mo at HSAbank.  However looking at HSABank's fee schedule they don't seem to classify HSA transfers to your investment account as wire transfers.  So as long as you only transfer to the investment account 1X per year then you still come out ahead ($24 vs $30), plus ELFCU pays higher interest in your bank account if you decide to keep any cash there.

I appreciate you bringing this to my attention because I would have gotten angry when I saw it:).  Also it's important to only transfer to the investment option 1x per year.  This part is OK by me since I have to have ELCFU do transfers from my payroll contributed HSA to ELFCU to get money in there anyway.  Otherwise go with HSABank and their higher monthly fees.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2015, 02:01:38 PM »
If you keep a balance of $2,500 in the 1% interest bearing Elements (formerly ELFCU) HSA account then you don't get charged any monthly fee.  Now that I have about $28,000 in my HSA accumulated over a few years I really don't mind having a portion of it in cash rather than invested in the stock market.  To me having some of the HSA in cash feels like a form of portfolio/situation diversification.

MooseOutFront

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2015, 03:21:46 PM »
Yeah I was looking at that.  Really, at the current 1% interest rate, the $2500 cash is generating $25 annual and saving you fees of $36 annual for a total return of 2.40%.  I feel like there's certainly a place in the portfolio for cash earning that amount guaranteed.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 03:31:23 PM by MooseOutFront »

sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2016, 12:17:41 AM »
Bumping this thread because I started using Elements Financial HSA.  Wondering if anyone else currently uses this company?  And has anyone invested through them?  Kindly share your experiences.  Thanks!

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2016, 06:33:22 AM »
Yes I use Elements, and invest in the TD Ameritrade linked with the HSA. Unfortunately, there's a $25 wire fee to move money from Elements to TD Ameritrade.
$2500 earning only 0.5% interest has to sit in the Elements account to invest.

tweezers

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2016, 10:49:24 AM »
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.

I also have Health Equity and in searching around, these fees aren't all that onerous (0.033%).  For example, the expense ratio for VIIIX goes up from 0.02% to 0.053%.  This is still much better than all of the other non-"choice" funds at Health Equity, and beats the fees associated with other accounts that I looked at; especially since I only get the FICA tax savings by direct payroll deduction to the Health Equity account.  Make sure you look into whether you can do payroll deductions to another account.  If not, any benefits in lower fees may be lost by your increased FICA taxes.

ETA: Just realized this is a really old thread...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 10:53:12 AM by tweezers »

charis

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2016, 10:59:20 AM »
Bumping this thread because I started using Elements Financial HSA.  Wondering if anyone else currently uses this company?  And has anyone invested through them?  Kindly share your experiences.  Thanks!

I use Elements.  What kind of info are you looking for?  My experience is pretty simple.  We keep $2500 in the regular HSA and transfer the rest to our TD Ameritrade brokerage account once a year for $25 and buy vanguard free ETFs.  So we pay a total of $25/year and we would keep at least $2500 in cash anyway.  No complaints or problems.

dcozad999

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2016, 12:07:23 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.

I also have Health Equity and in searching around, these fees aren't all that onerous (0.033%).  For example, the expense ratio for VIIIX goes up from 0.02% to 0.053%.  This is still much better than all of the other non-"choice" funds at Health Equity, and beats the fees associated with other accounts that I looked at; especially since I only get the FICA tax savings by direct payroll deduction to the Health Equity account.  Make sure you look into whether you can do payroll deductions to another account.  If not, any benefits in lower fees may be lost by your increased FICA taxes.

ETA: Just realized this is a really old thread...



How are you able to change your HSA from one company to another?  I thought we were locked into whatever our employer has?

I am also with Health Equity. I was going to invest everything I could into VIIIX, only when I took a closer look it had this little snippet pop up:

"This is a low cost fund that is not paid for by your plan sponsor. Investing in this fund will result in a monthly fee of 0.033% on the average value invested and will be charged to your cash balance."


So if we are able to change our HSA how does it work? You have to keep 2 accounts open and keep transferring money from Health Equity to the new one every two weeks?

tweezers

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2016, 12:33:18 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.

I also have Health Equity and in searching around, these fees aren't all that onerous (0.033%).  For example, the expense ratio for VIIIX goes up from 0.02% to 0.053%.  This is still much better than all of the other non-"choice" funds at Health Equity, and beats the fees associated with other accounts that I looked at; especially since I only get the FICA tax savings by direct payroll deduction to the Health Equity account.  Make sure you look into whether you can do payroll deductions to another account.  If not, any benefits in lower fees may be lost by your increased FICA taxes.

ETA: Just realized this is a really old thread...



How are you able to change your HSA from one company to another?  I thought we were locked into whatever our employer has?

I am also with Health Equity. I was going to invest everything I could into VIIIX, only when I took a closer look it had this little snippet pop up:

"This is a low cost fund that is not paid for by your plan sponsor. Investing in this fund will result in a monthly fee of 0.033% on the average value invested and will be charged to your cash balance."


So if we are able to change our HSA how does it work? You have to keep 2 accounts open and keep transferring money from Health Equity to the new one every two weeks?

You can open an account where ever you want, but for me (and I suspect most/all employers) if you want your HSA contributions taken out pre-tax (which is beneficial because then you don't pay FICA taxes) you have to go with the one your employer uses.  So, you can either transfer from your employer-sponsored account or pay into a different account post-tax (i.e. don't have your contributions taken out of your paycheck, but contribute after taxes and then deduct the contributions when you do your taxes--assumes you itemize).

Like I said in the above post, compared to all the other standard funds with Health Equity, the fees to transfer funds to another account, and the fees associated with accounts from other account providers (at least for the account providers I looked at a few months ago when we switched health care plans), the added 0.033% was still a lower cost (i.e. expense ratio for the fund is still low...0.053% with the fee).  This is especially true when you factor in the additional FICA taxes you pay if you contribute to another account post-tax (i.e. income based taxes for Social Security and Medicare that you don't get back when you file your annual tax return). 

I hope this helps.

charis

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2016, 12:40:47 PM »
I also have two HSAs, one my employer uses and the Elements HSA that I set up.  I accumulate the funds during the year and then transfer it all to the Elements HSA in the spring to invest.

dcozad999

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 11:35:59 AM »
I thought the .05% was an annual fee, not monthly?

So a monthly fee of .033% would be .396% annually and raise that fee to .446% wouldn't it?

Pooperman

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2016, 11:47:33 AM »
I thought the .05% was an annual fee, not monthly?

So a monthly fee of .033% would be .396% annually and raise that fee to .446% wouldn't it?

.447% because of exponents being multiplicative, not additive.

Bobberth

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2016, 01:30:43 PM »
I use selectaccount.com There are several tiers of accounts and while I can't find the features online right now, I believe that the $1/month plan is the lowest tier you can invest with as that is what I signed up for. $1000 is required to be kept in cash but the remainder can be invested in their chosen funds. Their fund selection wasn't great but they just (9/30) added several new Vanguard index options so you can easily fit these into an overall asset allocation and keep expenses down. Once your investment account reaches $10,000, you can open a self directed account at Schwab and invest in anything you want. I haven't submitted any claims but I have been satisfied with their service especially now that they have more than just Vanguard Small Cap as a decently priced fund.

If those of you that have crappy, high-expense funds are in an employer sponsored plan, you may want to talk to HR and let them know about the fiduciary responsibility that the Treasury Department has said comes along with offering HSAs. Maybe that could help prod them to offer a better selection of funds.

tweezers

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2016, 10:52:30 AM »
I thought the .05% was an annual fee, not monthly?

So a monthly fee of .033% would be .396% annually and raise that fee to .446% wouldn't it?

.447% because of exponents being multiplicative, not additive.

You're right, and I did my math correctly on my costs, but not in my post.  Apologies.  I just started on a HDHP in July so only have ~$2500 invested (plus the $2K in the cash account as required).  Even with the monthly % fee to invest in low cost funds I have a way to go before it makes sense to pay transfer fees to another account or forgo the pre-tax FICA savings (fees this month were $0.70). 


I use selectaccount.com There are several tiers of accounts and while I can't find the features online right now, I believe that the $1/month plan is the lowest tier you can invest with as that is what I signed up for. $1000 is required to be kept in cash but the remainder can be invested in their chosen funds. Their fund selection wasn't great but they just (9/30) added several new Vanguard index options so you can easily fit these into an overall asset allocation and keep expenses down. Once your investment account reaches $10,000, you can open a self directed account at Schwab and invest in anything you want. I haven't submitted any claims but I have been satisfied with their service especially now that they have more than just Vanguard Small Cap as a decently priced fund.

They haven't yet updated their investment offerings online, but this might be a less expensive option down the road.  Thanks!

Pooperman

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2016, 10:55:29 AM »
I thought the .05% was an annual fee, not monthly?

So a monthly fee of .033% would be .396% annually and raise that fee to .446% wouldn't it?

.447% because of exponents being multiplicative, not additive.

You're right, and I did my math correctly on my costs, but not in my post.  Apologies.  I just started on a HDHP in July so only have ~$2500 invested (plus the $2K in the cash account as required).  Even with the monthly % fee to invest in low cost funds I have a way to go before it makes sense to pay transfer fees to another account or forgo the pre-tax FICA savings (fees this month were $0.70). 

That's why I use Wells Fargo. $5k in the account required, but that includes your invested amount. S&P 500 fund at 0.25%/yr made is a good deal... and company decided to use that one so extra $$ activated!

missundecided

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2016, 12:49:22 PM »
That's why I use Wells Fargo. $5k in the account required, but that includes your invested amount. S&P 500 fund at 0.25%/yr made is a good deal... and company decided to use that one so extra $$ activated!

I see that they waive front-end fees...but what about back-end? Also, what's the target balance you have to reach before investing, or is that YMMV per account?

Pooperman

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2016, 03:06:51 PM »
That's why I use Wells Fargo. $5k in the account required, but that includes your invested amount. S&P 500 fund at 0.25%/yr made is a good deal... and company decided to use that one so extra $$ activated!

I see that they waive front-end fees...but what about back-end? Also, what's the target balance you have to reach before investing, or is that YMMV per account?

1k. Anything above that can be invested.

sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2016, 08:24:34 AM »
Bumping this thread because I started using Elements Financial HSA.  Wondering if anyone else currently uses this company?  And has anyone invested through them?  Kindly share your experiences.  Thanks!

I use Elements.  What kind of info are you looking for?  My experience is pretty simple.  We keep $2500 in the regular HSA and transfer the rest to our TD Ameritrade brokerage account once a year for $25 and buy vanguard free ETFs.  So we pay a total of $25/year and we would keep at least $2500 in cash anyway.  No complaints or problems.

@ jezebel and all:  Mainly looking to hear about others experiences and to determine how to best use them.  I currently only have $4,090 which is under the $5,000 limit many HSA administrators require to waive fees.  Sigh.  So with the $4,090 is it better to just transfer once a year to the TD Ameritrade if I want to buy Vanguard ETFs?  Are there any other strategies and fees I should consider or be wary of?  Thanks!  Oh and to clarify I probably will never get a chance to increase this HSA so I am just looking to grow it.  So on that note can I pay any transfer fees using external funds instead of my limited Elements funds?  Thanks!

sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2016, 08:30:20 AM »

I use selectaccount.com There are several tiers of accounts and while I can't find the features online right now, I believe that the $1/month plan is the lowest tier you can invest with as that is what I signed up for. $1000 is required to be kept in cash but the remainder can be invested in their chosen funds. Their fund selection wasn't great but they just (9/30) added several new Vanguard index options so you can easily fit these into an overall asset allocation and keep expenses down. Once your investment account reaches $10,000, you can open a self directed account at Schwab and invest in anything you want. I haven't submitted any claims but I have been satisfied with their service especially now that they have more than just Vanguard Small Cap as a decently priced fund.

They haven't yet updated their investment offerings online, but this might be a less expensive option down the road.  Thanks!

selectaccount.com still hasn't updated their investment options to offer Vanguard funds.  Does anyone know which specific ones they offer?  Can you list them here.  Thanks.  Also for selectaccount.com how much do they charge in fees for accounts under $5,000 specifically at $4,090 but will have no new HSA funds contributed?  Thanks!

sobezen

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2016, 08:32:39 AM »
Yes I use Elements, and invest in the TD Ameritrade linked with the HSA. Unfortunately, there's a $25 wire fee to move money from Elements to TD Ameritrade.
$2500 earning only 0.5% interest has to sit in the Elements account to invest.

Can this $25 wire fee be paid using external sources other than the Elements HSA account funds?  How this the transfer work?  Is it efficient, quick and relatively straight forward?  Thanks!

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: What is the best Health Savings Account (HSA)?
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2016, 11:23:54 AM »
It's been a while since I transferred the money from Elements HSA into their TD Ameritrade investment account, but it was straightforward and easy to do.
I don't think the $25 can be paid for using external money, but I could be wrong, and it's definitely a question you can ask customer service.
The $24 (at the time the fee was $24, maybe it's $25 now?)  was automatically deducted out of the money you leave behind in the Elements HSA, and not from the money that is transferred over to TD Ameritrade.

Once the money is transferred over to TD Ameritrade, I made a free purchase of Vanguard exchange traded Total Stock Market Index Fund.
Every quarter money from that index fund in the form of a dividend, is put in some cash holdings account, and you can buy more of the index fund with it.

In September of 2014 I transferred $19,000 out of an HSA bank account over to Elements. Then I kept $2,600 with Elements, from which $24 was deducted as a wire fee. Then I transferred $16,400 of the $19,000 over to TD Ameritrade from Elements to buy the stock index exchange traded fund.

The other HSA account I have is with United Bank of Michigan, but it's only earning 2% interest, and at this point I think I might just roll it all over to Elements and add to my TD Ameritrade brokerage account.

One good question to ask Elements is if they charge a fee to leave them for another HSA account. Those are the kinds of annoying fees that I wish HSA custodian banks would not do.