Morningstar's first study of 10 largest HSAs reveals so-so performance

Only one plan was assessed positively as both an investment and a savings vehicle

Jun 27, 2017 @ 5:14 pm

By InvestmentNews

In its first assessment of major health savings account plan providers, Morningstar found that only plans from The HSA Authority earned a positive assessment as both an investment vehicle to save for future medical expenses and as a spending vehicle to cover current medical costs.

Morningstar looked at plans from the nation's 10 largest plan providers: Alliant Credit Union, Bank of America, BenefitWallet, HealthEquity, HealthSavings Administrators, HSA Bank, Optum Bank, SelectAccount, The HSA Authority, and UMB Bank.

"The results of the study show there's room for improvement across the board," Morningstar said in a release.

Of the 10 plans studied, the research firm positively assessed only four as an investment vehicle and three for use as a spending vehicle. Morningstar assigned each plan an overall assessment of positive, neutral and negative. For account holders looking to invest their HSA assets, the study analyzed the quality and cost of mutual funds offered as part of the plan's "investment menu."

The evaluation of HSAs as a spending vehicle focused primarily on the maintenance fees charged by each plan.

"Participants using HSAs to invest and save for future medical expenses should seek plans that offer a well-designed investment menu of cheap, high-quality funds. HSA plans from four providers — Bank of America, Health Equity, Optum, and The HSA Authority — came closest to attaining that high standard," Morningstar said.

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