Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

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BundyBundy
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 8:52 pm

Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by BundyBundy »

I currently have a HSA account with Fidelity. Previously, I was never charge any type of fees to maintain this account. However, I joined a new company that does not have any affilations with Fidelity, thus the fees are not waived. Fidelity charged me 14$ per quarter! Ridiculous - I know.

I am looking for a simple HSA admin/brokerage to manage/rollover my funds. I have over 10,000$ in HSA money. Currently, I do not have a high-deductible plan. Is there any HSA admin you may suggest? I am looking for something that offers Vanguard ETFs, and very low fees (no maintenace fees). I plan to leave my $ in the HSA account and forget about it.

Some things I am looking for.
No maintenance fees
Vanguard funds
No transfer fees

However, I am open to suggestions if the above does not mean the criteria. For example, if maintenance is neglgiible such as 10$ a year and there are no trading fees for ETFs. I am basically looking for somethign to really minimize my cost and leave my fund sin there for the next 10+ years. I am in my mid-20s and I know how expense can eat up my gains.

Thank you so much!
ryk1861
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by ryk1861 »

Spirit Rider
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by Spirit Rider »

I think you need to keep things in perspective. Pretty much all HSA accounts are going to cost you $3-$6/month for an HSA account with an investing account. It will be this much or more in fees, or lost opportunity costs because of minimum balance requirements.

HSA Administrators/22 Vanguard Funds will cost you $122/year. $3.75/month HSA fee, $45/year investment fee, and $0.80/$1000/quarter custodial fee.

HSA Bank/TD Ameritrade will require you to keep a $4925 HSA balance or cost you $66/year. $2.50/month HSA fee and $3.00/month investment fee.

Eli Lily Credit Union/TD Ameritrade starting 07/01/2014 will require you to keep a $2500 HSA balance or cost you $36/year. $3.00/month HSA fee. They also started assessing a $24 wire transfer fee between the HSA account and TD Ameritrade. Can a investment fee be far behind?

Pardon me if I don't find a $56/year fee from Fidelity Ridiculous. I would jump at the chance to get a native Fidelity/Vanguard account for $5.00/month fee (listening guys).
ajcp
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by ajcp »

Spirit Rider covered it, what you're looking for doesn't exist, and $14/quarter isn't actually that bad in the world of HSAs. I'd either leave it with Fidelity or since it's not too high a balance and you aren't able to add to it anymore, use it for medical expenses until it's depleted.
livesoft
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by livesoft »

Spirit Rider wrote:HSA Bank/TD Ameritrade will require you to keep a $4925 HSA balance or cost you $66/year. $2.50/month HSA fee and $3.00/month investment fee.
At HSA Bank / TDAmeritrade, I think there are 2 separate minimums needed to have no monthly fees: One at the bank and one at TDAmeritrade. So if one met the minimum at the bank, but not the TDAmeritrade minimum, then one would pay the TDAmeritrade minimum. If one put all their HSA into TDAmeritrade, but left nothing in the bank, then one would pay the bank monthly fee. There are also other fees on the HSA Bank fee schedule which are easily avoided.

BundyBundy has enough to meet both minimums if she or he splits their money.

Full disclosure: I use HSABank/TDAmeritrade and have not had to pay a fee because while building up assets my employer paid the HSA Bank fee.
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dphilipps
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by dphilipps »

Wells Fargo's HSA has no annual fee, if you are willing to live with these limitations:

- You need to keep 2K in a cash account (which currently pays around 60 bp)
- You get to invest the remaining balance, though the only halfway reasonable fund is Wells Fargo's S&P 500 index fund. With its ER of 25bp it's far more expensive than an equivalent Vanguard fund.

WF looks like a good choice until your balance grows to about 50K, at which point you're better off paying the fees charged by Health Savings Administrators and getting access to low-cost Vanguard funds, in turn.

However, if Fidelity's quarterly fee is fixed at $14 (i.e. not based on account balance), I'd keep the HSA at Fidelity if you're planning to contribute more in the future. $56/year is actually very competitive, and Fidelity's Spartan funds are very close expense-wise to their Vanguard counterparts.
gvsucavie03
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by gvsucavie03 »

ELFCU is completely free if you have $2,500 to start (don't need to have money in checking after the initial $2,500 goes in the investment account)
gvsucavie03
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by gvsucavie03 »

and ELFCU has a TD Ameritrade account with access to the 100 commission-free Vanguard/iShares etfs.
stlutz
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by stlutz »

Saturna has no fees but they charge $15 per ETF trade. For someone who makes one trade per year in their HSA, this can be a good option.

Note: I don't have an account there, so I can't vouch for customer service etc.
Spirit Rider
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by Spirit Rider »

gvsucavie03 wrote:ELFCU is completely free if you have $2,500 to start (don't need to have money in checking after the initial $2,500 goes in the investment account)
Not true starting 07/01/2014, you need to keep the $2500 or pay a $3/month fee.
Topic Author
BundyBundy
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by BundyBundy »

Thanks guys for all the input! It was really helpful and informative. I guess I'll stay with Fidelity or switch over to one of the funds mention above.

I always assume that the HSA ran similarly to having a 401K. You invest and leave it alone WITH NO MAINTENANCE FEES. I didn't realize 14$ per quarter was consider "cheap". Apologies for my ignorant. I am trying to minimize my cost, invest in a fund, and forget about it.

ELFCU looks like a good option, but I guess I need to research more on the customer service also.

Why do many of these firms require you to have $ in a checking account and an investment account? I am assuming so they can make some money on of you not earning anything on the checking account?
Topic Author
BundyBundy
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by BundyBundy »

Spirit Rider wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:ELFCU is completely free if you have $2,500 to start (don't need to have money in checking after the initial $2,500 goes in the investment account)
Not true starting 07/01/2014, you need to keep the $2500 or pay a $3/month fee.
Thanks Spirit. I am assuming you meant that you need 2500$ in a checking and 2500$ in an investment account? Thanks again.
Easy Rhino
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by Easy Rhino »

bundy, remember that most HSA's are designed to be spending accounts, with checks and debit cards. That's why they have the minimum cash amounts often.

from the bank's administrative standpoint, an HSA combines all the hassle of a checking account with all the hassle of an IRA. So a fee isn't entirely unjustified.

I have an account with Saturna for about a year now. I don't really do any trading in it (except once a year). It seems pretty good for that purpose and I started a thread for it.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 0&t=135513

the elfcu combo seems pretty interesting too, although I have a hunch the account might get too crowded and the terms generally worsen over time.
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wander
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by wander »

I use HSABank & TDAmeritrade. I virtually leave nothing in the account and transfer all the money to TDAmeritrade to invest in ETFs. My employer pays all the fees so I don't have to. Free is cheapest.
gvsucavie03
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by gvsucavie03 »

Spirit Rider wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:ELFCU is completely free if you have $2,500 to start (don't need to have money in checking after the initial $2,500 goes in the investment account)
Not true starting 07/01/2014, you need to keep the $2500 or pay a $3/month fee.
Hmm.... $36/year still seems cheaper than HSA Bank, is it not?
wuj818
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Re: Cheapest Health Saving Account Brokerage/Admin

Post by wuj818 »

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Spirit Rider wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:ELFCU is completely free if you have $2,500 to start (don't need to have money in checking after the initial $2,500 goes in the investment account)
Not true starting 07/01/2014, you need to keep the $2500 or pay a $3/month fee.
Hmm.... $36/year still seems cheaper than HSA Bank, is it not?
They also started charging a $24 wire transfer fee last month and it's the only method they allow you to use to transfer funds to TD Ameritrade.
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