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.
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.
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.
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.
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.