Lively HSA review
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- No maintenance fees and minimum to invest
- Wide range of investment options
- Tools for tracking and optimizing your HSA
About Lively HSALively HSA (Lively) is an HSA provider and platform. It offers HSA to individuals directly or through employers, or other companies that include Lively HSA as part of their product offering.
What are the benefits of Lively’s HSA?
No maintenance fee
Lively does not charge a maintenance fee (aka administration fee) for a HSA.
No minimum to start investing
Some HSA firms require that you have a minimum of your HSA saved in a checking account before you may start investing. With Lively, you may start investing regardless of how much you have in your HSA.
Wide range of investment options
There are many investment options available for a Lively HSA through its partner, TD Ameritrade. Lively is integrated with TD Ameritrade’s self-directed brokerage platform. You could invest in individual stocks, bonds, ETFs, CDS, over 550 commission-free ETFs, and more than 13,000 mutual funds.
Tools for tracking and optimizing your HSA
Lively offers a few unique tools to help with tracking and optimizing your HSA. It provides a calculator that helps you determine how much to contribute to your HSA each year. It also provides a tool called Expense Scout that allows you to connect your non-HSA, outside accounts to the Lively platform, which the tool will then automatically scan your transactions for those outside accounts periodically and alert you of a list of transactions that might be HSA eligible. Within the same tool, once you confirm that a transaction is HSA eligible, you may easily submit a reimbursement to yourself.
There’s also a tool to link your health insurance to Lively so you may track your in-network and out-of-network deductibles. For documentation, you may upload receipts (and download them later) to keep track of your expenses in case of a IRS audit.
What’s Lively’s interest rate?
In an effort to keep the economy stable in response to COVID-19, the Federal reserve cut its benchmark interest rates to nearly zero. This rate change has affected rates for many financial products, including Lively HSAs.
As of March 6, 2020, Lively’s interest rate for any uninvested contributions is 0.01%. Prior to the Fed's interest rate cut, Lively's interest rates ranged from 0.25% to 0.60%, depending on your balance.
Note: while we aim to keep our reviews updated, we cannot guarantee that the rates information here is the latest. Refer to Lively's site for the latest information.
Drilling into Lively’s fees
Lively offers HSA without any maintenance fees.
If you decide to invest in ETFs and/or mutual funds through TD Ameritrade, the funds generally come with fund fees (aka expense ratios). These fees are for managing a fund. These management fees vary depending on the fund and is a percentage of your investments. For example, for a $1,000 investment, a 0.15% fund fee is $1.50. The fees are automatically deducted by the fund.
Lively integrates with TD Ameritrade’s self-directed brokerage platform if you want to invest your Lively HSA. Thus, trading fees are going to be based on what TD Ameritrade charges. Online U.S. stock and ETF trades are free. Fees for trading mutual funds depend on the fund; there are some that don’t charge any commission fees for trading. Bond and CD commission fees are already included in the bond’s and CD’s net yields (interest or dividends earned).
Lively does not charge a fee for spending your HSA amount.
Account transfer fees
Lively does not charge a fee for transferring your outside HSA to Lively. However, there is a fee for transferring your Lively HSA to another provider. The fee for a full account transfer is $50 and for a partial transfer is $25.
Note: while we aim to keep our reviews updated, we cannot guarantee that the fee information here is the latest. Refer to Lively's site for the latest information.
How easy is it to do things at Lively?
Opening a Lively HSA
You may open a Lively HSA online. To enroll in an account, you’ll be asked to provide standard personal information, such as contact information, Social Security number, and such. The account takes 1-2 days to finalize.
Spending your Lively HSA
There are a few ways to spend your Lively HSA. You may use a HSA debit card that Lively will send to you after you enroll in a Lively HSA. The card takes 7-10 days to arrive. There is a daily spending limit of $2,000 with the debit card. You may also pay for medical expenses by using BillPay or paying out of pocket and then reimbursing yourself through BillPay or by sending an electronic fund transfer.
Investing your Lively HSA
Lively integrates with TD Ameritrade’s (TD) self-directed online brokerage platform. After you open a Lively HSA, you may start a TD account online through Lively. It takes about 1 day for the TD account to be active on Lively. Once you’re enrolled in the TD account, it’ll be linked to your Lively HSA and you may log into Lively to invest.
Through TD, stock and ETF trades are executed throughout the day when the market is open between 9:30 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET. TD also offers three extended-hour trading sessions during weekdays for its clients outside of market hours. There’s one before the market opens from 7 a.m. until 9:28 a.m. ET, one after the market closes from 4:02 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET, and one overnight starting at 8 p.m. ET. This means TD offers almost a 24-hour trading cycle.
Note: the difference between the price at which you sell and the price at which you buy tends to be wider during outside hours and there are fewer shares traded, so only the most experienced traders might want to consider trading outside of market hours.
All Mutual funds, regardless of the firm, are executed once a day after the market closes at 4 p.m. ET. If you buy or sell shares of a mutual fund, your trade will be executed at the next available share price for the fund, or net asset value (NAV), which is calculated after the market closes and typically posted by 6 p.m. ET.
Transferring your outside HSA to Lively
After you open a Lively HSA, you may initiate a transfer of your outside HSA to Lively through the Lively site. Once you initiate the transfer, your current HSA provider will send a check to you. You’ll then have 60 days to transfer to Lively. Lively limits transfers to one per year (12-month period). Lively does not charge a fee for the transfer, but your current HSA provider might.
How is your HSA protected at Lively?
Lively partners with Choice Financial, a bank that acts as the custodian of your HSA savings that is not invested. In other words, the underlying bank that’s holding your HSA savings is Choice Financial. Through Choice Financial, your HSA savings are eligible for The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance. FDIC is a U.S. government agency that insures cash deposits at FDIC member banks, generally up to $250,000 per account.
If you invest any of your HSA savings through Lively, then you’ll be investing through TD Ameritrade (the investment firm that Lively partners with). If TD Ameritrade financially fails (i.e. goes bankrupt), your investments are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Each “separate capacity” account is protected up to $500,000 with a limit of $250,000 for uninvested cash. For more details on what’s a “separate capacity” account, visit the SIPC site.
The SIPC is a U.S. government creation but not an agency of the U.S. and insures all brokerage accounts up to $500,000. SIPC is funded by all of its member brokers/dealers. In some cases, it also protects against unauthorized trading or theft in the account. Market losses and promises of investment performance are not covered.