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The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act is Seeking Passage



The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act is Seeking Passage

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The PHIT Act is a bill that would allow the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to be used on activities like gym memberships and youth sports leagues. The act is legislation currently pending in Congress, and its advocates are seeking fitness industry support for its passage.

It’s no secret that barriers to healthy living are endemic in society today. The PHIT Act has the potential to change lives through providing Americans the ability to use pre-tax money on healthy living activities. Co-sponsored by 35 Republicans and 35 Democrats in the House of Representatives, as well as 12 Republications, four Democrats, and one Independent in the Senate, the Act is seeking more support to facilitate its passage. 

If passed, PHIT would enable individuals to use up to $1,000 per year—up to $2,000 for families—to cover activities related to physical health. The act could help Americans save 20-30% of its expenses related to physical activities. It would encourage general health improvements, and reduce the prevalence of many preventable diseases, such as heart disease, strokes, and type-2 diabetes, all of which accounts for around 85% of national healthcare costs. 

To facilitate increased government support for the PHIT Act, the National Health & Fitness Alliance (NHFA) and the Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA) lobbying teams are working with partners such as sports goods industry members and equipment manufacturing partners, like Nike. Later this month, the NHFA will be sending professional presentations to ask for congressional and Senate support. 

A major goal of the teams behind the PHIT Act is to educate fitness professionals about its importance for the health and wellness of their communities. The expansion of PHIT would expand the reimbursement to youth sports for leagues or fees and equipment associated with a child’s participation. In addition, it would help with expenses like gym memberships, as well as preventative and chronic disease management programs. 

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Kevin McHugh, the Chief Operating Officer of the Atlantic Club and a member of the NHFA Advisory Council spoke to Club Solutions Magazine about the importance of the fitness industry’s involvement in the efforts, “It’s important our industry fully understand that there is the potential that PHIT may be able to get included within a few legislative bills that may still get passed by the current administration before the end of this session. One key possibility we need to be prepared for in the next couple of months, and will need additional co-sponsors for in the House and Senate, is the potential passage of a Mental Health Bill where the PHIT Act has the potential of strengthening this legislation in the next few months. […] The PHIT Act is an excellent piece of legislation the NHFA will continue to prioritize, as well as building other new pieces of legislation that will not only build a stronger fitness industry, but most importantly a stronger and healthier nation.”

How can fitness operators support the PHIT Act’s passage? McHugh encourages fitness operators to contact him at [email protected] Operators will be connected with local NHFA chapters that provide guidance on how best to encourage the passage of the PHIT Act.

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