Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

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Naturally Brilliant
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Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Naturally Brilliant » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:56 pm

For those of us who are healthy enough to not need to use HSA funds for medical expenses and seek to use the HSA as a strictly investment-oriented vehicle, I was wondering this.

Suppose that your HSA (whether it be from your employer or one that you chose yourself) requires you to have a minimum $1,000 balance, and any monies you put on top of that $1,000 can be transferred to an investment account. So that $1,000 just sits there and depreciates. Wouldn't it be better to find an HSA that lets you invest every last penny that goes into the HSA instead?

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inittowinit
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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by inittowinit » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:21 pm

Yes, but there don't seem to be many account administrators that allow you to invest 100% of HSA funds.

Looks like Lively is one potential low-fee option: viewtopic.php?t=233372

If you search past forum posts for "hsa administrator" you will find many threads discussing this topic.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by TIAX » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:26 pm

Naturally Brilliant wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:56 pm
For those of us who are healthy enough to not need to use HSA funds for medical expenses and seek to use the HSA as a strictly investment-oriented vehicle, I was wondering this.

Suppose that your HSA (whether it be from your employer or one that you chose yourself) requires you to have a minimum $1,000 balance, and any monies you put on top of that $1,000 can be transferred to an investment account. So that $1,000 just sits there and depreciates. Wouldn't it be better to find an HSA that lets you invest every last penny that goes into the HSA instead?
It would certainly be better but the bigger your HSA investment balance gets, the less the $1,000 in cash matters.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by jcerickson » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:55 pm

Naturally Brilliant wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:56 pm
Wouldn't it be better to find an HSA that lets you invest every last penny that goes into the HSA instead?
I previously had an HSA at HealthSavings Administrators, which offers "first dollar investing" and no account minimums. There were several Vanguard funds to choose from and I used the Vanguard Balanced fund. But a year ago I chose to roll those HSA funds into my employer HSA through Optum Bank, even though it requires a $2K cash minimum. Long-term, the HealthSavings HSA would've cost me more because they charged a percentage-based fee vs the fixed fee at Optum. I'm not sure how HealthSavings charges their fees now.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by MrPotatoHead » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:27 pm

inittowinit wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:21 pm
Yes, but there don't seem to be many account administrators that allow you to invest 100% of HSA funds.

Looks like Lively is one potential low-fee option: viewtopic.php?t=233372

If you search past forum posts for "hsa administrator" you will find many threads discussing this topic.
Wow really, that is sad. I my HSA with FIDO, no fees and I am 100% in DGRO on the potentially mistaken theory it will be less volatile than ITOT (I am beginning to think I should have just done ITOT for .03% ER vs .08% ER.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Nate79 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:16 pm

Sure it is useful. What is wrong with having your deductible in cash as an emergency fund? In the grand scheme of things that cash is peanuts and if your future depends on that you are in deep trouble financially.
Last edited by Nate79 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by jhfenton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:50 pm

Naturally Brilliant wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:56 pm
For those of us who are healthy enough to not need to use HSA funds for medical expenses and seek to use the HSA as a strictly investment-oriented vehicle, I was wondering this.

Suppose that your HSA (whether it be from your employer or one that you chose yourself) requires you to have a minimum $1,000 balance, and any monies you put on top of that $1,000 can be transferred to an investment account. So that $1,000 just sits there and depreciates. Wouldn't it be better to find an HSA that lets you invest every last penny that goes into the HSA instead?
It's certainly better if you don't have to keep cash in an account earning pennies, but that doesn't mean it's not worth investing if you can't invest it all.

I do invest 100% at Lively, and I transfer my payroll contributions over from my Fifth-Third employer-sponsored HSA quarterly. So I have a tiny amount of cash drag there.

When I had everything at Fifth-Third, I had to keep $2,000 in cash before investing the rest. The worst part was that the $2,000 wasn't really available. If you withdrew from the $2,000 in an emergency, they would immediately (the next day) sell investments to replenish the $2,000.
MrPotatoHead wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:27 pm
Wow really, that is sad. I my HSA with FIDO, no fees and I am 100% in DGRO on the potentially mistaken theory it will be less volatile than ITOT (I am beginning to think I should have just done ITOT for .03% ER vs .08% ER.
I wish FIDO were available to individuals on those terms. But alas.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by jalbert » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 pm

healthsavings.com provides 100% of funds invested, no transaction fees, $25 annual fee, and includes a money market option with debit card option.

I haven't used them but Vanguard links to them from their own site as an HSA provider of Vanguard funds.

They offer a variety of Vanguard, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and other mutual funds at provider cost:

Fee structure corrected below.

https://healthsavings.com/wp-content/up ... 092017.pdf
Last edited by jalbert on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:15 pm

What are you losing by leaving $1,000 in cash? Maybe 5% a year, $50? That's not worth losing sleep over.
Last edited by willthrill81 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by jhfenton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:16 pm

jalbert wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 pm
healthsavings.com provides 100% of funds invested, no transaction fees, $25 annual fee, and includes a money market ootion with debit card option.

I haven't used them but Vanguard links tov hem from their own site as an HSA provider of Vanguard funds.

They offer a variety of Vanguard, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and other mutual funds at provider cost:

https://healthsavings.com/wp-content/up ... 092017.pdf
According to the website, Healthsavings.com charges $45 per year plus 25 bp per year. On a $50K balance, that's $170 per year.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Naturally Brilliant » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:19 pm

I read on The HSA Report Card (https://thehsareportcard.com/hsa-administrators/) that HealthSavings Administrators has a ton of fees, such as a $45 annual administrative fee, though.

I'm debating whether or not to open up an account with Lively HSA. The bad news is that they don't have Vanguard options through TD Ameritrade, but some of their SPDY low-cost options from State Street look comparable to Vanguard's low-cost choices. So I don't know yet :-)

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by fennewaldaj » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:12 pm

The cash drag on 2k is ~$120 a year if you expect to get about 6% on your whole portfolio. And of course you can consider it part of your bond allocation which reduces it further. My employer uses Optum which has the 2k required cash balance feature. Given that they have lots of good Vanguard and Schwab funds it doesn't seem worth it to roll over balances to something slightly better to avoid this.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by aclerok » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:50 pm

For the posters ITT quoting Optum as having a $2k minimum cash balance: you may want to check and see if that's recently changed for your account.

I have an Optum HSA through my employer as well, and while I had a $2k cash minimum previously, once they switched over to the new website (around the beginning of this year), I was able to reduce my minimum down to $1k. The change wasn't announced nor was it included in my 2018 benefit paperwork, but I called Optum and confirmed that the minimum is now $1k.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Tamarind » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:08 am

Sure it would be better. I'll be looking at Lively now that I've changed jobs and can't contribute anymore.

But if the plan is one picked by your employer such that you can contribute via payroll deduction, it is still better to contribute to almost any HSA. Your savings on FICA taxes should outweigh the drag from the cash holding for at least a couple of years.

If you are picking the plan yourself, you'll have to weigh required cash drag against their fees and ERs.



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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:02 am

Depends on the minimum balance for the savings account and your investment balance. If you have $100K invested, it is much easier to come out ahead than if you have $3K invested.

Personally, I like going with a low set fee rather than having money out of market and inaccessible. I chose Lively ($30/year with TD Ameritrade) based on BH suggestions, and so far I have no complaints.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by rantk81 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:03 am

It's annoying, but not the end of the world for me.

I have bigger things to worry about :P

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Da5id » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:14 am

rantk81 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:03 am
It's annoying, but not the end of the world for me.

I have bigger things to worry about :P
Yeah, but this is bogleheads. "Costs matter" :)

The minimum balance should be counted as a fee against whatever you expect the nominal returns are of the investments you choose. E.g. suppose there is a $2500 minimum cash balance -- as I think is true for Health Equity case for non-employer related accounts if you want to avoid the monthly fee. Suppose you would have that money in stocks, and you assume 8% nominal returns (just a number, pick your own guess if you like), the "fee" is $200 per year. That is noticeable. Should be a factor in your decisions. And for Health Equity, with those assumptions, you'd be better off in the long haul paying the monthly fee and having a balance of $0.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:22 am

Most have a threshold since the account is supposed to be for actually paying healthcare costs. Mine has a $1k threshold. I've never used a penny for any health expenses (and haven't ever really had any big ones anyway) and have over $75k in the account now. I plan to use it in retirement for medical expenses. BTW, the first $1k doesn't depreciate entirely- most pay some kind of interest (albeit low).

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by stimulacra » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:33 am

Yeah I think so. I treat the cash minimum as a mini-EF for out-of-pocket and deductibles (you might be 100% healthy but you don't know what tomorrow holds). My employer kicks in an additional $1k per year to employees who participate in the HSA versus other forms of employer provided coverage.

I keep about 1-2 years of deductibles and out-of-pocket in my employer HSA and move the rest over to healthsavings.com to invest. The triple-tax advantaged nature of the HSA vehicle really makes it a great investing space to utilize.

My only quibble is that the admin fees aren't excessive but are a nuisance when your initial balances are small.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 am

My HSA has enough in cash to pay my max OOP. The rest is invested. For me this is a good compromise.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 am
My HSA has enough in cash to pay my max OOP. The rest is invested. For me this is a good compromise.
I thought of that approach but IMO it really doesn't make sense. If you believe in investing your HSA, why not save extra cash in your emergency fund rather than in your HSA? It seems to me that the same logic applies to a large OOP expense as it does to a bunch of little everyday expenses.

If a big expense comes up, you would either have to deplete the investment side of the HSA or withdraw from the HSA savings, putting you under the limit, thereby further increasing your HSA fees. Neither of those are desirable if your goal is investing the HSA.

IMO, the optimal solution is to increase your EF while earning higher interest than the typical HSA savings account, and then invest the whole HSA for the lowest fee you can find.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Da5id » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:38 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 am
My HSA has enough in cash to pay my max OOP. The rest is invested. For me this is a good compromise.
I thought of that approach but IMO it really doesn't make sense. If you believe in investing your HSA, why not save extra cash in your emergency fund rather than in your HSA? It seems to me that the same logic applies to a large OOP expense as it does to a bunch of little everyday expenses.

If a big expense comes up, you would either have to deplete the investment side of the HSA or withdraw from the HSA savings, putting you under the limit, thereby further increasing your HSA fees. Neither of those are desirable if your goal is investing the HSA.

IMO, the optimal solution is to increase your EF while earning higher interest than the typical HSA savings account, and then invest the whole HSA for the lowest fee you can find.
Yes. Particularly for the context of this thread, where OP said his HSA was "as a strictly investment-oriented vehicle". If you change the assumption to HSA is a mix of "spend now" and "invest vehicle", the answer of course may be different.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Aptenodytes » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:14 pm

Comparing an option that is available to you to an option that is not available cannot possibly help you make a good decision. Whether a given HSA's investment options are worse than an imaginary HSA with no cash minimum requirements is irrelevant. You should choose the HSA that is best for you, by comparing among actual, available options.

If you have some unusually high aversion to holding cash, for whatever reason, then you can just put your money in a Roth IRA. That operates more or less like an investment-only HSA (for people who anticipate that their allowable expenses will exceed their HSA holdings) and it has no requirement to hold cash. All you have to do is pay taxes on the money you put in.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by stimulacra » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:50 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 am
My HSA has enough in cash to pay my max OOP. The rest is invested. For me this is a good compromise.
I thought of that approach but IMO it really doesn't make sense. If you believe in investing your HSA, why not save extra cash in your emergency fund rather than in your HSA? It seems to me that the same logic applies to a large OOP expense as it does to a bunch of little everyday expenses.
The cash in my HSA is pre-tax, which I can spend tax-free for OOP.

I would have had to earn the equivalent of $1.25 – 1.35 on a pre-tax basis to have the same amount in my emergency fund… I could save the receipts for 30 years and reimburse myself in 2048, but I might lose the receipts, the ink might fade away, or my backup methods for digital copies of receipts and healthcare expenses might vanish, or I might simply forget.

For me it's easier to use my HSA for those OOP expenses because I get more bang-for-my-buck as it were. It gives me a noticeable discount today.

Also with inflation, it seems waiting decades to reimburse yourself (in future dollars) for medical items occurring in 2018 would be counterproductive.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Da5id » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:52 pm

Aptenodytes wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:14 pm
Comparing an option that is available to you to an option that is not available cannot possibly help you make a good decision. Whether a given HSA's investment options are worse than an imaginary HSA with no cash minimum requirements is irrelevant. You should choose the HSA that is best for you, by comparing among actual, available options.

If you have some unusually high aversion to holding cash, for whatever reason, then you can just put your money in a Roth IRA. That operates more or less like an investment-only HSA (for people who anticipate that their allowable expenses will exceed their HSA holdings) and it has no requirement to hold cash. All you have to do is pay taxes on the money you put in.
Paying taxes on the money you put in defeats a big chunk of the value of an HSA as an investment vehicle. For those who can max both Roth and HSA, doing just Roth also foregoes some tax advantaged space. Doesn't seem like a good alternative.

Issue isn't "aversion to holding cash" per se. It is that if you have X dollars to invest for long term, it is a needless drag on returns to put some amount of X in cash. The lost return on the money in cash is effectively a fee. When choosing between different HSA plans (if not forced into a specific employer one), fees (or effective fees) are one consideration. Lively doesn't require any cash and seems the net fee winner, that is why people in this threads (and WCI in his article) seem to be gravitating there.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:58 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:50 pm

The cash in my HSA is pre-tax, which I can spend tax-free for OOP.

I would have had to earn the equivalent of $1.25 – 1.35 on a pre-tax basis to have the same amount in my emergency fund… I could save the receipts for 30 years and reimburse myself in 2048, but I might lose the receipts, the ink might fade away, or my backup methods for digital copies of receipts and healthcare expenses might vanish, or I might simply forget.

For me it's easier to use my HSA for those OOP expenses because I get more bang-for-my-buck as it were. It gives me a noticeable discount today.

Also with inflation, it seems waiting decades to reimburse yourself (in future dollars) for medical items occurring in 2018 would be counterproductive.
We can debate the merits of investing HSA funds versus using them for reimbursement on a separate thread. OP has decided to invest the HSA but is wondering whether to keep cash in the HSA cash account to satisfy the minimum balance requirement.

The inflation argument makes no sense. The whole point of investing the HSA is to beat inflation. If you are worried about inflation, you would either reimburse yourself now or invest. The last thing you would do is keep an extra $1K or more tied up earning zero interest.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Da5id » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:08 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:50 pm
Also with inflation, it seems waiting decades to reimburse yourself (in future dollars) for medical items occurring in 2018 would be counterproductive.
By that logic, if you could pay current expenses out of a Roth you'd always choose to do so. Unless I misunderstand your point. Foregoing tax free growth is not a win. Spending money in your HSA may or may not be a good choice depending on your cash flow and other financial needs, but the reason above isn't a good basis for a decision IMHO.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by stimulacra » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:22 pm

Da5id wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:08 pm
stimulacra wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:50 pm
Also with inflation, it seems waiting decades to reimburse yourself (in future dollars) for medical items occurring in 2018 would be counterproductive.
By that logic, if you could pay current expenses out of a Roth you'd always choose to do so. Unless I misunderstand your point. Foregoing tax free growth is not a win. Spending money in your HSA may or may not be a good choice depending on your cash flow and other financial needs, but the reason above isn't a good basis for a decision IMHO.
Ok, please disregard my comments about deferred reimbursements and inflation :)

My best guess about the need for a cash minimum is to help nudge people to use HSA's for their intended purpose, not create another tax-loophole shelter for savvy folks. I think it's a more than fair compromise and am glad to have it available.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Da5id » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:25 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:22 pm
My best guess about the need for a cash minimum is to help nudge people to use HSA's for their intended purpose, not create another tax-loophole shelter for savvy folks. I think it's a more than fair compromise and am glad to have it available.
I think it is optimized for the normal use case. The HSA/associated investment firm doesn't want to incur the expense of selling dribs and drabs of a mutual fund for say a $10 copay. Requiring a cash buffer avoids that issue.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:58 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 am
My HSA has enough in cash to pay my max OOP. The rest is invested. For me this is a good compromise.
I thought of that approach but IMO it really doesn't make sense. If you believe in investing your HSA, why not save extra cash in your emergency fund rather than in your HSA? It seems to me that the same logic applies to a large OOP expense as it does to a bunch of little everyday expenses.

If a big expense comes up, you would either have to deplete the investment side of the HSA or withdraw from the HSA savings, putting you under the limit, thereby further increasing your HSA fees. Neither of those are desirable if your goal is investing the HSA.

IMO, the optimal solution is to increase your EF while earning higher interest than the typical HSA savings account, and then invest the whole HSA for the lowest fee you can find.


Well I decided to partially use it for its intended use - savings for health care. I invest to increase my money for retirement supplemental healthcare policies. So the investment has a goal. The savings have a goal And I have emergency fund regular savings if truly needed.

In 2012 I had a medical emergency (not life threatening) on jul 3 and by end of august I met the max oop amount. It was very helpful to have a pool of money dedicated to health needs available to me while I was working only part time.it lessened the stress of a difficult time.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:09 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:22 pm

Ok, please disregard my comments about deferred reimbursements and inflation :)

My best guess about the need for a cash minimum is to help nudge people to use HSA's for their intended purpose, not create another tax-loophole shelter for savvy folks. I think it's a more than fair compromise and am glad to have it available.
No, the purpose from the bank's perspective is to get an interest free loan from the customer in exchange for providing the investment service. The question is whether from your perspective it makes more sense to give that interest free loan or to pay a few dollars a month.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:39 am

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:09 pm
stimulacra wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:22 pm

Ok, please disregard my comments about deferred reimbursements and inflation :)

My best guess about the need for a cash minimum is to help nudge people to use HSA's for their intended purpose, not create another tax-loophole shelter for savvy folks. I think it's a more than fair compromise and am glad to have it available.
No, the purpose from the bank's perspective is to get an interest free loan from the customer in exchange for providing the investment service. The question is whether from your perspective it makes more sense to give that interest free loan or to pay a few dollars a month.
Exactly. Free checking accounts with bells and whistles often require a minimum or average balance.

The $1k doesn't bother me, but I have a good chunk of change in my HSA. Starting out, it would be more annoying. I would consider investment options, fees and minimum cash requirements and make a decision. I'd rather leave $1k sitting there and invest in a .04% ER fund than being able to invest that $1k and be stuck with expensive funds.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by ajw360 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:53 am

Naturally Brilliant wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:19 pm
I read on The HSA Report Card (https://thehsareportcard.com/hsa-administrators/) that HealthSavings Administrators has a ton of fees, such as a $45 annual administrative fee, though.

I'm debating whether or not to open up an account with Lively HSA. The bad news is that they don't have Vanguard options through TD Ameritrade, but some of their SPDY low-cost options from State Street look comparable to Vanguard's low-cost choices. So I don't know yet :-)
I have an account with Lively, and I am very happy with it. My employer account requires $1000 before you can invest, so I just transfer the money from my employer account to my Lively account quarterly and invest it. It's very easy, and the $2.50 monthly fee is all I pay. A lot of the SPDR funds actually have lower ERs than their Vanguard counterparts. I have my money in SPAB and SPTM.

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Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by jalbert » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:46 pm

jalbert wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 pm
healthsavings.com provides 100% of funds invested, no transaction fees, $25 annual fee, and includes a money market option with debit card option.

I haven't used them but Vanguard links to them from their own site as an HSA provider of Vanguard funds.

They offer a variety of Vanguard, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and other mutual funds at provider cost:

Fee structure corrected below.

https://healthsavings.com/wp-content/up ... 092017.pdf
I was conflating healthsavings.com with HSA Authority that is run by Old National Bank in Indiana. The latter charges $30/year and offers a variety of Vanguard funds at cost, some admiral shares, some investor shares.

But a recent call to Old National customer service led to my hanging up after 6 minutes on hold, and a call to Lively led to waiting on hold until I was transferred to a voice mailbox. When these were my first experience contacting each vendor, it does not exactly warm me up to the idea of doing business with them.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3901
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:06 pm

jalbert wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:46 pm
jalbert wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 pm
healthsavings.com provides 100% of funds invested, no transaction fees, $25 annual fee, and includes a money market option with debit card option.

I haven't used them but Vanguard links to them from their own site as an HSA provider of Vanguard funds.

They offer a variety of Vanguard, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and other mutual funds at provider cost:

Fee structure corrected below.

https://healthsavings.com/wp-content/up ... 092017.pdf
I was conflating healthsavings.com with HSA Authority that is run by Old National Bank in Indiana. The latter charges $30/year and offers a variety of Vanguard funds at cost, some admiral shares, some investor shares.

But a recent call to Old National customer service led to my hanging up after 6 minutes on hold, and a call to Lively led to waiting on hold until I was transferred to a voice mailbox. When these were my first experience contacting each vendor, it does not exactly warm me up to the idea of doing business with them.
I'm not defending them, but individual HSAs are not a thriving, big money making business. Most people have HSAs through their employer. I would venture there just aren't many vendors because there isn't much demand. I was with Wells Fargo and they sold the business to Optum. Some of the big providers only provide HSAs to businesses.

JustinR
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:43 pm

Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by JustinR » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:50 pm

There's nothing better than Lively.

$2.50 fee per month to invest. That's it. No other fees, minimums, limitations, or catches.

Uses TD Ameritrade so you can invest in anything you want, including their commission free ETFs. Not a limited selection like some HSAs.
jalbert wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:46 pm
jalbert wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 pm
healthsavings.com provides 100% of funds invested, no transaction fees, $25 annual fee, and includes a money market option with debit card option.

I haven't used them but Vanguard links to them from their own site as an HSA provider of Vanguard funds.

They offer a variety of Vanguard, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and other mutual funds at provider cost:

Fee structure corrected below.

https://healthsavings.com/wp-content/up ... 092017.pdf
I was conflating healthsavings.com with HSA Authority that is run by Old National Bank in Indiana. The latter charges $30/year and offers a variety of Vanguard funds at cost, some admiral shares, some investor shares.

But a recent call to Old National customer service led to my hanging up after 6 minutes on hold, and a call to Lively led to waiting on hold until I was transferred to a voice mailbox. When these were my first experience contacting each vendor, it does not exactly warm me up to the idea of doing business with them.
Try contacting Lively through email. They've been very helpful and responsive through that.

TropikThunder
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:41 pm

Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by TropikThunder » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:01 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:06 pm
jalbert wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:46 pm
But a recent call to Old National customer service led to my hanging up after 6 minutes on hold, and a call to Lively led to waiting on hold until I was transferred to a voice mailbox. When these were my first experience contacting each vendor, it does not exactly warm me up to the idea of doing business with them.
I'm not defending them, but individual HSAs are not a thriving, big money making business. Most people have HSAs through their employer. I would venture there just aren't many vendors because there isn't much demand. I was with Wells Fargo and they sold the business to Optum. Some of the big providers only provide HSAs to businesses.
In all fairness, Lively is a low-cost start-up, and perhaps in the Vanguard model they have skimped on call center capability. :twisted: Their chat and email support has been excellent, however. Then again, I'm a low-maintenance, high-information consumer when it comes to this stuff, so my need for phone support is virtually non-existent.

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jhfenton
Posts: 3532
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that require a minimum balance before investing worth it?

Post by jhfenton » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:16 am

jalbert wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:46 pm
I was conflating healthsavings.com with HSA Authority that is run by Old National Bank in Indiana. The latter charges $30/year and offers a variety of Vanguard funds at cost, some admiral shares, some investor shares.

But a recent call to Old National customer service led to my hanging up after 6 minutes on hold, and a call to Lively led to waiting on hold until I was transferred to a voice mailbox. When these were my first experience contacting each vendor, it does not exactly warm me up to the idea of doing business with them.
I called Lively once last October immediately after signing up online, because I was hoping they could stop the debit card that the system promised to send me. (They could not. It was an automated process at their custodian bank.) I got the sense that their "call center" was one or two people answering the phone, so I can imagine getting sent to voice mail.

But I have dealt with them several times via email, and I have always received a prompt and helpful response. And when I have asked them to prepare my quarterly transfer forms, I've always received them back to sign digitally on the same day.

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