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Health Savings Accounts 101 (HSA)

How To Choose An HSA Administrator

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Many banks and brokerage firms as well as insurance companies offer HSA accounts. You can open an account anywhere.

Most employers have relationships with specific HSA administrators. While you are not required to use an employer's plan, there may be benefits of using their plan such as streamlining the claims paying process. It may also be the only way to get an employer's contribution. 

If you shop around, consider:

  • The fees.
  • Whether an account permits the investments you want to make. Some plans offer a fixed return on money in the account. Others permit investment in a menu of mutual funds, or let you choose stocks to purchase. If you expect to use the money for current medical expenses, consider investing it in a low-cost savings account and a means that makes it easy to use the money such as a debit card.
  • How easy it is to access your money. Plans that come with checkbooks or debit cards are easier to use than those that make you file paperwork to get reimbursed. Some insurers offer the insurance policy and the Health Savings Account so you don't have to open a separate account. Other insurers offer just the insurance policy. You have to find a bank or other trustee to open your HSA.
  • The HSA does not have to be opened at the same institution that provides the HDHP.

You can shop for a plan and for companies that write HSA-eligible policies through a site such as

  • offsite link The site has a feature that allows you to rank the characteristics you want in an account from one to five, and to be delivered a list of three companies that provide an account that matches the most important criteria selected. It's on the "Build Your Own HSA" page.
  • offsite link

You can get quotes for HSAs in most states through offsite link, Tel.: 800.977.8860. The company behind the site offers discounts with partners that administer HSAs. It doesn't underwrite the insurance. Instead of using the automated system on the web site, call and tell the representative about your health history. You don't have to disclose your name until you get coverage.

NOTE: You can switch to a different HSA administrator and transfer the money similar to an IRA rollover.

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