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Author: saraswati1 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19  
Subject: Comparison Charts Date: 6/12/2007 3:55 PM
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I have tried to find comparison charts for different HSA's, rather than HSA's vs. other options, to no avail. If anyone has a link I would appreciate it.

I have a United Healthcare high deductible policy with an HSA through Exante Bank. I (and DH) am self-employed so the premium and my contribution to the HSA are automatically withdrawn from my checking account. I opened the account earlier this year. I must have $2000 in the HSA account in order to be able to invest $. Anything over that amount can be distributed to a choice of seven mutual and index funds. I will reach that amount next month.

First of all, if the powers-that-be want to promote HSA's then they need to gear it up. Easy access to comparison rates, investment vehicle choices, etc. would help the decision-making process. Second, I believe insurance agents are de-incentivized to promote HSA's because they receive lower fees. I just directly contacted an agent and told him the health plan I wanted and the HSA vehicle (for now.) Third, in this day of investment choices, surely one can be offered more than SEVEN choices. I know this situation is similar to the amount of choice offered by an employer for 401K plans. But if the idea of HSA's and 401K's is personal responsibility, perhaps we could expand that responsibility a LITTLE bit in the choices. And fourth, it would help the Exante website if they allowed for email contact, not only mail or telephone.

Also, it is disheartening to see articles about HSA's as a tax vehicle for the rich. Another example of our ironic bias against the rich. As the insured self-employed, we feel the bite most directly, even when relatively healthy. HSA's are a a backload situation with tax advantages for the purchaser, whereas traditional policies are frontload situation with a tax advantage for the purchaser. Whats the dif?

Maybe someone here knows more than I....

Thanks.

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Author: ebh123 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12 of 19
Subject: Re: Comparison Charts Date: 9/14/2007 2:38 PM
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AS an independent insurance agent with more than 20 years experience helping people get the best health insurance value they can qualify for and as someone who was one of the first insurance agents to begin offering qualifed health plans used with MSAs (in my area), the predecessor to HSA plans, AND as someone who also uses United Healthcare among other carriers, I can tell you that as far as UHC is concerned there is NO incentive for an agent NOT to tell you as much as he or she knows about HSAs except for the fact that educating someone about it takes time and UHC pays agents as little as only $6 per month commissions per employee for selling any of their health plans in certain states. So considering agents do not get paid enough money in an entire year to cover the first 1/2 hour of time they spend with you, this may be the reason... and I sympathize with them!

You may luck out and find an agent that takes pride in doing the best job they can for the client, whether or not they get paid for it. This is what I've always tried to do.

Now to answer your question about HSA custodians. What you need to do is do a search on any search engine for HSA custodians or Health Savings Account custodians . There used to be a site with 100 different custodians on a spread sheet with all of their costs and services compared but I can't find it now and didn't save it.

I can tell you that the most experienced is MSaver.com. There there is not as high a limit as Exante has before you can invest in mutual funds.
I have lots of free info about HSAs on my site healthplanspecialists.com including info about a great custodian in Assurant for HSAs called HSA Tools. You have access right away to mutual funds plus they have lot of other features you don't find with most custodians. The only problem is you have to get the HDHP through them in order to use their HSA account services.

Soon there will be a way for people to set up HSA accounts directly through healthplanspecialists.com through another custodian that they will be partnering with so keep checking or you can email me directly with questions.

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