To promote and protect health clubs, we monitor many bills. In the past year, we've talked about everything from emerging opioid regulations to new overtime rules to changes in state sales tax on gyms.
These are all issues that—at the moment—may only impact clubs in a few states. So, let's look at the country as a whole and take a moment to focus on our federal legislative efforts. Specifically, one bill could have a major impact on your health club, your community, and even your friends and family.
The PHIT Act
By now, you may have heard of the PHIT Act.
For those who haven't, the PHIT Act is the Personal Health Investment Today Act or the PHIT Act of 2019. PHIT would allow individuals to use up to $1,000 from flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for qualified sports and fitness expenses per year. For families—or households filing jointly—the amount would increase to $2,000 per year.
Why use FSAs or HSAs toward qualified sports and fitness expenses? Because exercise saves money in healthcare spending, and research shows that incentivizing exercise can get more people active. According to data, $0.71 of every dollar spent on healthcare goes to treating people with multiple chronic conditions, many of which are largely preventable with exercise and other healthy habits. If passed, PHIT could save families 20-30% on their physical activity costs.