All of the health insurance companies we work with in Colorado now offer HSA qualified high deductible health insurance plans (HDHP). After you’re approved for an HSA qualified HDHP with these companies, they’ll send you information and application information to sign up for a health savings account with a bank they work with. For example, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado and Humana work with Chase, Kaiser Permanente works with Wells Fargo, United HealthCare and Assurant/Time Insurance administer their own HSAs.
In the case of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, or Kaiser; the HSA provider they work with is separate, but these typically aren’t the most competitive options. These banks will usually have higher fees, lower interest rates, and less flexibility than a stand alone HSA provider.
If you happen to get your HSA qualified health insurance plan through United Healthcare or Assurant/Time, there are quite a few more downsides:
- Changing health insurance – If you have a different company for your health insurance than you have for your HSA administrator, switching health insurance is no problem if you find a better policy. If you use the same provider for both, HSA transfers have taken as long as four months and you’ll need to go through the hassle of setting up all your investments and learning how the new HSA provider works.
- Privacy – You’ll probably also use the funds in your HSA to cover things that may not be covered by your health insurance policy. If you use an independent HSA provider, all of these expenses remain private.
- Avoid Automated Deductions – Some health insurance companies retain the ability to deduct the HSA for medical expenses. You may have a problem with a charge from a medical provider and it makes it easier to discuss with them if you haven’t yet paid the bill. And in many cases, clients prefere to use non-HSA after tax money to pay medical expenses; enabling them to keep money in the HSA to grow tax free.
- Spending Freedom – Some insurance company HSA providers are linking their debit cards to pre-approved medical purposes. This may sound hassle free, but it may not allow for discretionary purchases like OTC medicine.
- Better Options – Working with an independent HSA administrator will give you more services (like debit cards, checking, or online banking) and better investment options than the health insurance company.
- More Help – Independent HSA providers are usually specialized in providing help to investors – ’nuff said.
If you would like to compare your HSA account administrator options, we’ve compiled a handy spreadsheet to make it as simple as possible. We don’t work directly with the HSA account administrators and we aren’t paid a commission by them. The information provided on the HSA administrator spreadsheet is meant to be unbiased help for Insurance Shoppers Colorado health insurance clients.
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