Lively is a San Francisco - based, internet-only, fee-free HSA administrator with a slick online platform. The company's business model centers around pricing transparency and not assessing fees to accounts for administrative tasks such as account statements, account custody, debit card usage, or for reimbursement for qualified medical expenses. This makes it the ideal spenders HSA in many respects.
Report Card for Lively as a Spending Vehicle
Fees For Individuals
The best HSAs for spenders are characterized by low maintenance / administrative fees. Lively doesn’t charge a maintenance fee.
The best HSAs for spenders also have very few additional fees that are layered on top of the maintenance / administrative fee. These fees are not recurring in nature, but can be incurred by the account holder if they undertake a certain action. Lively doesn’t charge any additional fees, save a $5 debit card issuance fee (the first 3 are free). Many HSA administrators claim to be fee-free, but few truly are. Lively's HSA is as fee-free as it gets for spenders.
Below we have reconstructed Lively's fee schedule to exhibit fees spenders are most likely to encounter.
Monthly Recurring Fees
Transaction / Reimbursement Fees
As you can see in the chart below, from a fee standpoint, Lively's offering is a heck of a deal.
Debit Card - You can use a Lively HSA debit card to pay for all your eligible medical expenses.
Account Transfers - Lively connects your HSA account to your bank, making reimbursements for expenses easy and straightforward. This makes it easy to reimburse yourself for medical expenses paid out-of-pocket.
No ATM withdrawals allowed. After conducting their research, Lively believes that there is too much fraud that occurs with ATM withdrawals.
Lively does NOT allow individuals to reimburse themselves with checks.
Slick Website - Lively's intuitive dashboard makes HSA accounts simple to manage. Lively has built a modern HSA platform from the ground up. By focusing on user experience and design, Lively offers a fresh approach to the HSA.
Contributions - Lively will set up recurring or one-time contributions for you without any annoying paperwork (employer contributions or link your bank account).
Expense Tracking - For purchases not made on the Lively debit card, you can add expenses to be reimbursed.
Receipt Storage/Categorization - Electronically upload and categorize receipts and other documents so you can view them later. You can add an expense and save it for reimbursement at any time in the future.
Debit Card - You will receive a personalized Lively branded MasterCard for your qualified medical expenses. Use your card at your doctor's office, pharmacy, or any other qualified medical expense provider where MasterCard is accepted. Any time you use your Lively card, the transaction details will automatically be available when you log into your HSA account.
Education and Resources - Learn about HSA basics, FAQS, eligible expenses, and benefits. The Lively blog is also quite informative. The posts are short and sweet and packed with useful information.
Dedicated Customer Service Team - Lively singular focus is HSAs. Lively's team is ready to help you whether it is phone, email, or chat.
Marketplace - Lively recently launched a marketplace, where they introduce cost-effective solutions to its users. Initial HSA Marketplace partners include a variety of recognized industry leaders as well as up-and-coming online brands. The selection of these partners showcases the wide range of HSA-eligible expenses and better consumer options, including general expenses, primary care, vision, and dental.
Pros & Cons
Which participants are best suited for a Lively HSA?
Those seeking a fee-free HSA. No monthly recurring fees.
Those who are comfortable with online-only HSA management. The Lively HSA is an online-only account.
Dual-purpose use (spender/investor). Lively is a top 10 investment HSA.
Those with a family HSA.
Those who understand that Lively is a startup.
Lively offers HSA spenders a wonderful product. Lively's offering is an HSA spenders dream come true. In general, HSA spenders are subject to a TON of potential fees, but not with Lively. They have no fee schedule. On top of that, Lively's slick technology makes it a cinch for participants to manage their HSA.
There's a lot of positive sentiment and interest surrounding Lively's offering and for good reason, but we must offer a word of caution; Lively is still unproven as an HSA administrator. They have been in the HSA administering trenches for a very short period of time. As time goes on we will get a better idea of how well this nimble upstart is handling their customer’s needs. So far, so good...