Health Savings Account Administrators

 
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Where do You Establish Your HSA?

There are many financial institutions that provide Health Savings Account (HSA) administration services. These organizations are small, medium and large -- representing many familiar financial and banking names.

However, do not expect meaningful HSA assistance from staff at local branches of most giant nationwide banks. These largest banks typically do not provide HSA services at the branch level, as their HSA operations tend to be specialized departments run from a single location.

Not all banks and financial institutions offer HSA services.

HSA Marketing Partnerships

To enhance their marketing of HSA health insurance products, most insurance companies have teamed up with brand-name banks providing HSA administration.

However, these arrangements usually offer little additional value to the consumer, who is free to choose from ANY Health Savings Account administrator.

Independent HSA Administrators

In most circumstances, we recommend steering away from the insurance company and establishing your Health Savings Account with one of the many independent financial institutions providing HSA services. We cite a couple of reasons:
  • Of all the HSA administrators from which you can choose, the financial institution teamed up with your health insurance company likely does not provide your optimal combination of convenient access, services, investment options and fees.
  • Some day you may find it financially beneficial to switch to a different health insurance company. You may not want to experience complications because you wish to terminate only one service of the two (health insurance and HSA) being provided through the insurance company.

Comparing Fees and Services

HSA administrators offer varying investment options (fixed interest rates, mutual funds, brokerage services, etc.) and administrative services (debit cards, checks, online account access, internet transactions, etc.). Your investment and services options typically increase with the size of your HSA balance.

Most HSA administrators charge fees for their services. There are set-up fees, maintenance fees and some institutions charge transaction fees. These charges can significantly differ from administrator to administrator. It pays to compare.

Some Suggested HSA Administrators

We have identified some established Health Savings Account (HSA) administrators. The following alphabetical listing emphasizes nationally-known HSA administrators and Midwest banks (last updated 10/26/2012):

Recommending an HSA Administrator

We hesitate to recommend HSA administrators because there are so many from which to choose and the choices keep growing and changing. However, because most of our customers are in the Chicago area, we point out one Chicago area bank that does not charge fees (as of this writing) for basic HSA services and has built a very large HSA clientele:
  • First American Bank has branch offices throughout the Chicago metro area, from Gurnee to Kankakee.

Most folks prefer to deal with local vendors, though in the internet age physical proximity of your HSA administrator is not of critical importance. But many still prefer a face-to-face banker relationship and the ability to personally deliver deposits.

Insurance Agent Assistance

You do not need an insurance agent to set up an HSA. The process is not much different from setting up a checking account.

Insurance agents usually recommend an HSA that pays a referral fee to the agent. Most of the HSA administrators listed above do not pay such fees.

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