BenefitWallet HSA Lowers Fund Expenses, adds Vanguard Institutional Shares

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Post Reply
financeidiot
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:10 pm

BenefitWallet HSA Lowers Fund Expenses, adds Vanguard Institutional Shares

Post by financeidiot » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:28 am

Got an email today that BenefitWallet HSA is expanding fund selection and lowering expense ratios for funds beginning October 3, 2017:

Here's the added passive funds:
  • Vanguard Total Stock Market Index -> 0.03% expense ratio from 0.16%
  • Added Vanguard Midcap Index, 0.06%
  • Added Vanguard Smallcap Index, 0.06%
  • Added Total International Stock Index, 0.11%
  • Added Vanguard Total Bond Market Index, 0.05%
Full fund list: https://mybenefitwallet.com/CMS/docs/de ... t_list.pdf

If you happen to have BCBS insurance through work, holding onto a BenefitWallet HSA could be a great HSA option. It's a $2.90 per month ($34.80 annually) investment fee with a $1,000 minimum balance in your HSA account to invest. My only previous gripe was the limited fund selection and high expense ratios, but those have been addressed. It comes with a debit card and integrates well with the BCBS insurance portal so it's easier to keep track of expenses or pay a bill directly from your HSA.

informal guide
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:26 am

Re: BenefitWallet HSA Lowers Fund Expenses, adds Vanguard Institutional Shares

Post by informal guide » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:51 am

It is nice to see price reductions in the HSA arena. Admittedly, the providers have significant costs to offer them (e.g., high # of transactions, debit card costs, specialized processing that is more complicated than IRAs) and average balances are much lower than other accounts, but for those of us who use an HSA as a tax efficient savings vehicle, we appreciate the lower costs.

My guess is that the processing challenges and costs, coupled with low average balances, are the reason that big players like Vanguard and Fidelity don't yet offer them, at least to the general public.

User avatar
hoppy08520
Posts: 2025
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:36 am

Re: BenefitWallet HSA Lowers Fund Expenses, adds Vanguard Institutional Shares

Post by hoppy08520 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:08 pm

As a BenefitWallet account holder, I was also happy to see this. I'll save $36 annually in lower expense ratio fees on my $27K account, which I hope to keep adding to. I have my entire HSA balance in TSM.

Keep in mind that in addition to monthly fees to use the investment platform, BenefitWallet also charges fees in the "checking" account unless your checking balance is above a certain threshold (depending on the terms of your employer plan). For my plan, there's a $2.25 monthly fee unless I maintain at least $3,000 in the low-interest (0.05%) checking account. I've projected that it's slightly more advantageous to eat the monthly fee and invest the money in a bond fund earning ~2%.

Post Reply