The HSA Report Card

Health Savings Administrators

Health Savings Administrators

 
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Health Savings Administrators has been in the healthcare savings and investment world since medical savings accounts (MSAs) were first introduced in 1997. After the legislation enacting HSAs passed in January 2004, they shifted their focus to HSAs – emphasizing, even then, the vital role that HSAs play as part of a comprehensive retirement strategy. Health Savings Administrators calls itself the "investors HSA". They offer first dollar investing, which allows participants to invest right away, no minimum balance required.The company manages nearly $700 million in investments with clients in all 50 states, including employer groups, brokers, financial advisors and individual investors. 

 
 

Report Card

for Health Savings Administrators as an investment vehicle

 
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Investment Threshold

The ideal investment health savings account (HSA) has no investment threshold, allowing the very first dollar you contribute to be invested. If you're using an HSA for investment purposes, seek an administrator that does not hold your dollars hostage in a checking account earning little to no interest. 

Health Savings Administrators has no investment threshold requirement. Health Savings Administrators is one of six administrators in our study that allows first dollar investing.

 
 

 
 
 

Investment Account

Health Savings Administrators offers a plethora of high-quality investment options from some of the best fund families including Vanguard, Dimensional Funds, TIIA Cref, T.Rowe Price, MFS, OBS Financial, and Franklin Templeton Investments

 
 
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Health Savings Administrators investment offerings total 494 funds. For this study, we have decided to concentrate on the Vanguard lineup since it appears to be the most complete offering. Below is a breakdown of the number of Vanguard funds by asset class.

 
 
Asset Class # of Funds Offered Index Fund Available?
Domestic Large Cap 4 Yes
Domestic Mid Cap 4 Yes
Domestic Small Cap 2 Yes
Foreign Developed Markets Equity 2 Yes
Emerging Markets Equity 0 No
Short & Intermediate Term Fixed Income 3 Yes
Target Date/Allocation 6 Yes
Specialty/Other 1 -
 
 

There's no secret that we here at the The HSA Report Card are big proponents of passive index investing. Thus, we looked favorably upon administrators that offered low cost index funds for each of the major asset classes. In the table above, you can see that the Health Savings Administrators Vanguard lineup offers low cost index funds for every major asset class, save emerging markets. That said, Health Savings Administrators participants can invest in a low cost emerging markets index fund from Dimensional Funds, which is another great fund family.

How expensive are the funds in the Health Savings Administrators Vanguard investment lineup?

Health Savings Administrators offers its participants some very inexpensive funds. Of the 7 HSA administrators in our study that offer pre-selected investment lineups, Health Savings Administrators offers the second lowest cost funds. Average expense ratios across every asset class are less than 0.25%. 

 
 

Interest Bearing Account

Interest is credited monthly and based on the balance in your cash/debit card account. The interest rate available on different balances is as follows.

Highcharts Tutorial  

 
 

Fees

 
Condensed Schedule of Fees
Type Fee
Administrative $45 per year
Custodial 0.25% per year
 
 

In our study of the top 10 investment HSAs, Health Savings Administrators ranks as one of the most expensive administrators. Health Savings Administrators charges its participants a fixed fee in addition to a custodial fee. 

Complete Fee Schedule

 
 

 

Projected Fees

In this section, we have a little fun projecting fees for each administrator. Our goal was to keep fees as low as possible for each administrator. Keep in mind, we are assuming the HSA is being used solely for investment purposes, therefore only certain fees will apply.   Given that every HSA offering is different, there is no perfect way to compare the top 10 administrators in our study. Nonetheless, we gave it a shot and believe there is value in presenting our findings.

In order to compare fees, we made a few simple assumptions:

  • Every dollar above the investment threshold was invested.  
  • Current and future contributions were invested in a single fund.
    • Total Stock Market Index (VTI / VTSAX / SPTM) or S&P 500 index (IVV VIIIX / VFIAX). We believe these two index funds are one in the same.
  • No transaction fee (NTF) or commission-free ETF programs were utilized to buy the index funds.
  • If these index funds were not available under the NTF and/or commission-free ETF programs, we turned to the open market and executed a single trade per calendar year in order to keep transaction costs down. 

For Health Savings Administrators we made the following assumptions:

  1. Every dollar was invested in VTSAX (expense ratio 0.05%)
  2. Annual Administrative Fee: $45
  3. Annual Custodial Fee: 0.25%

The chart below summarizes the projected fees for Health Savings Administrators on different investment balances.

 
 
 
 

The following chart illustrates where Health Savings Administrators stands in terms of fees compared to the other top 10 investment HSA administrators. 

 
 
 
 

Health Savings Administrators fees are on the high side, thus the poor grade on this measure. Health Savings Administrators ranked as the 9th lowest cost provider in our study of the top 10 investment HSAs.


 
 

Features

 

In our search for the very best investment HSAs, we looked for administrators that offered a hassle-free investment experience. Health Savings Administrators gives investors the necessary tools to easily manage their account. The website is easy to navigate and automated account transfers are available. A receipt storage tool would make the Health Savings Administrators offering even more attractive. 

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Feature Available?
Auto-Deposit
Investment Sweep
Automatic Rebalancing
Dividend Reinvestment
Receipt Storage Tool
Intuitive Website
 
 

Auto-Deposit

With Health Savings Administrators you can set up scheduled recurring deposits from a bank checking account to the HSA checking account.

Investment Sweep

The nice thing about Health Savings Administrators is that the money from your personal checking account automatically flows right into your investment account and is allocated per the elections you set up. 

Automatic Rebalancing

Investments cannot be automatically rebalanced, manual rebalancing is required.

Dividend Reinvestment

Dividends are automatically reinvested by each mutual fund in the investment account.

Receipt Storage Tool

Not available. You’re responsible for keeping receipts for all distributions from your HSA.

Intuitive Website

The website has received mixed reviews, but overall is easy to use and navigate. Only requires one password to access all accounts. You can view account and investment balances as well as graphs and reports to monitor contribution limits.


 
 
 
Pros
  • First dollar investing
  • Quality investment options from Vanguard and Dimensional funds
  • Entire investment experience can be automated
  • One site. One login
Cons
  • Custodial fee 0.25% per year. Fees rise as investment balances grow
  • Maintenance fee is on the high side
  • No online receipt storage tool
 
 

 

A Health Savings Administrators HSA may be right for you if:

  • You are satisfied with the investment options in the pre-selected lineup
  • You are planning on making multiple transactions per calendar year
  • You desire first dollar investing
  • You have less than $15,000 in the investment account
 
 

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