Financial advisors looking for additional growth opportunities for clients may not need to look very far. The answer could be right in their clients’ health-care plans. Four out of 10 health savings accounts (HSA) with investments had balances of more than $10,000 dollars, according to CNBC.

HSAs are used in conjunction with high-deductible health insurance and offer participants a savings account with tax-free growth for medical expenses. Balances in HSAs can be rolled over to the following year and offer savers a triple tax benefit. All assets grow tax free; participants can make pretax contributions or contribute on a tax-deductible basis, and assets can be used free of tax to cover qualified medical expenses. 

"If you're expected to spend $275,000 on health care in retirement, where can you get the most bang for your buck?" asked Tom Vipond, sales consultant for TD Ameritrade’s Self Directed Plan Services. Vipond recently led a session during TD Ameritrade’s National LINC conference on HSAs in Orlando.

HSA savers can anticipate bigger returns by paying medical expenses out of pocket today and allowing the money to grow over time. Of those allowing the funds to accumulate, younger savers have the greatest potential for growth, according to Vipond. HSAs with access to exchange-traded funds or mutual funds will fare better than accumulated HSAs without those investment options. Only 4 percent of HSAs without investments had a balance over $10,000, according to the report.

Single savers could contribute up to $3,450 to their HSAs while families could contribute up to $6,900 as of 2017. Participants who were age 55 or older could add an extra $1,000 to their contribution limits.

"Since [HSAs] are a powerful vehicle for investing, we're starting to see a shift in mind set," said Vipond. "You can use it as a way to save for retirement and cover medium-to long-term health-care expenses," he explained.

Another valuable feature of the HSA is its portability. When savers change employers, the money can move with them. For savers using a financial advisor, HSA assets can be moved to a new custodian where their advisors can oversee the accounts, Vipond said.

HSAs offer a number of transfer options to participants, he added. First, savers have the option of making an unlimited number of trustee-to-trustee transfers via wire transfer. Next, savers who have received a rollover check from their current custodian get 60 days to deposit the money into a new HSA once per year. Lastly, HSA investors have the option of making a once-in-a-lifetime transfer of savings from an individual retirement account into their HSA. However, the transfer cannot exceed the annual contribution limits, according to Vipond.