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The health savings account (HSA) is one of the best tax-advantaged savings tools in existence. If you qualify for an HSA, you can put aside money that is tax-deductible when you contribute. And that money grows tax-free as long as you use it for approved healthcare costs. It’s truly tax-free money that you can use now or later, as it rolls over year after year.
If you’re looking for a place to manage your HSA, Lively is a solid choice. This Lively review will provide an overview of what to expect and how to decide if this HSA is right for you.
What Is Lively?
Lively is a health savings account provider. You can contribute money each year to your HSA and receive the tax benefits associated with the account. Lively partners with TD Ameritrade, a leading online stock broker from TD Bank. And this creates a seamless experience for the portion of your account that you invest.
It’s possible to use Lively without paying any fees, and TD Ameritrade offers commission-free trading on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). If you qualify for an HSA, Lively can help you manage it.
|Account Type||health savings account (HSA)|
|Access||Web-based, Android, iOS|
|Customer Service||Phone, Email, Online Chat|
|Investing Options||Integration With TD Ameritrade|
How Does Lively Work?
It’s easy to open an account with Lively and begin contributing. You provide information about your health plan, as well as identifying information. To open an HSA, you must be on a high-deductible health plan. You can check with your employer or the marketplace to see if your plan qualifies.
Once you’ve provided information about your plan, including whether it’s a family plan or an individual plan, you can see your dashboard. This lets you see how much you have, as well as how much you can contribute. For 2022, an individual can contribute up to $3,650, and a family can contribute up to $7,300.
It’s possible to set up automatic contributions. Lively will help you plan them, so you don’t go over the limit.
What’s nice about Lively is that it also lets you spend and track your spending so you can get reimbursed. For example, you can pay for eligible medical expenses with the free Lively HSA debit card, track those transactions, and then get reimbursed. The platform also helps you categorize expenses which can help with budgeting.
Investing with Lively
If you decide you want to invest a portion of your HSA, you can do so easily through Lively’s partnership with TD Ameritrade. Lively uses a smart sign-in to help you create an account with TD Ameritrade and connect it to your HSA.
It’s important to note that these funds must be kept separate from other investment funds you may have, like funds in a cash account or IRA. When you manage your investments, you’re taken to your TD Ameritrade HSA portfolio. Your transfers in and out of this portfolio are between only your HSA and your HSA portfolio. Note that the HSA money you invest is not FDIC insured, though your HSA cash account money is.
Realize that if you sell investments and then transfer the money back to your Lively HSA account, it can take a few days for the transaction to settle and the money to transfer.
Also note that you can use Lively’s Guided Portfolio option if you need a helping hand with picking your investments. This is similar to using a robo-advisor to invest and takes the work off your plate. However, Lively charges 0.50% in annual management fees for this service, which is twice as expensive as robo-advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront.
Lively doesn’t charge individual with fees for its HSA if you manage it yourself, and there are no account minimums. If you use Lively’s Guided Portfolio to invest, you pay 0.50% in annual management fees.
Also note that you earn a yield for keeping your money in the account, which is FDIC insured. As of March 31, 2020, the APY is 0.01%.
There also are no fees for your TD Ameritrade account connected to your HSA. You can make commission-free trades with stocks, ETFs, and options. There may be some fees associated with mutual funds and other assets you buy. So, check before you include those in your HSA portfolio.
Also, you don’t have to worry about paying tax on your gains as long as you use the money for qualified healthcare expenses.
Employers are the ones that cover the cost on Lively. It costs $2.95 per month, per employee as an employer who works with Lively.
Potential HSA Penalties
An HSA is a tax-advantaged account authorized by the government. As a result, it’s important to understand the penalties associated with the account. If you use the money for nonqualified expenses, you have to pay tax on the amount spent, as well as a 10% penalty levied by the IRS.
However, when you reach age 65, you can treat your HSA like a traditional IRA. You can withdraw money for any purpose without paying the 10% penalty. However, you still have to pay tax on the amount.
Other Lively Resources
Lively offers several resources designed to help you manage your HSA. Some of them include:
- Debit card: Access your Lively HSA cash account with a debit card to use for qualified purchases, including co-pays at your service provider’s office.
- Bill pay: It’s possible to set up bill pay for healthcare services from your Lively HSA.
- Reimbursement: If you used a non-HSA form of payment, you can keep track of receipts and schedule a reimbursement from your HSA.
- Calculators: Lively offers calculators that can help you check your eligibility, compare health plan costs, and project your potential savings and investment totals.
- HSA Guide: Lively’s HSA Guide offers easy-to-understand information about how health savings accounts work, as well as how they can work with your health plan to maximize your healthcare dollars.
Lively offers customer service over the phone, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific Time. Additionally, it’s possible to get help via email or online chat. There are customer service options for those who need help with their accounts, as well as an online FAQ that answers a lot of the basic questions.
Lively also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, which makes it possible to manage your HSA and your investments from the palm of your hand.
Is Lively Safe & Secure?
Lively uses bank-level encryption and security for your account. Additionally, funds held in the cash HSA account are FDIC insured, protecting them in the event that the institution fails. Investment funds are SIPC insured through TD Ameritrade. However, this insurance won’t protect your investment from market and economic events.
Pros & Cons
- Completely free for individuals
- Integrates with TD Ameritrade
- Easy to set up recurring contributions
- Useful spending tracking and reimbursement features
If you’re looking for another tax-advantaged account, an HSA can be a good choice, if you qualify. Lively offers an easy way for you to set aside money and reap the tax advantages.
Through the partnership with TD Ameritrade, it’s simple to set up an investing account for whatever portion of your HSA funds you want to grow in your portfolio. However, if you decide to invest some of your HSA money, you must keep this portion of your portfolio separate from your other investments.
For those who want to help manage their healthcare costs and want a simple and easy way to manage an HSA, Lively can be a good choice.