Recently, a study by the Cleveland Clinic revealed that not exercising regularly could be worse for your health than smoking, or even diabetes. So much so that according to the Center for Disease Control, only half of American adults are getting the amount of exercise they need, and it’s costing the United States $117 billion a year in healthcare costs.
It’s clear something needs to be done on a large scale to make America healthier, so in July, the PHIT Act was proposed to do just that. If passed, it could have major implications on the health and fitness industries, but you may be wondering what exactly is the PHIT Act, and how will it affect your studio? Well, here’s the Spark Notes version.
First and foremost - what is it?
So “PHIT” stands for Personal Health Investment Today - it’s a legislative measure designed to incentivize Americans to increase their physical activity as a preventative measure for their healthcare. As proposed, the PHIT Act would reimburse individuals as well as families for certain fitness-related expenses using HSAs and flexible spending accounts. The actual amount to be reimbursed will be finalized if and when the legislation is passed.
What does this mean for you?
Well, as of now, not much. Over the summer, the PHIT Act passed in the House of Representatives with widespread bipartisan support, which is good! Now the bill moves to the Senate for debate, but (as we’re sure you all know by now) much of the Senate is currently up for election. This means, realistically, it won’t go to the floor until after the Midterm dust has settled.
If the legislation does pass, it could mean significantly more traffic for your studio.
Under the PHIT Act, exercise classes, including health club memberships and personal training fees, would be eligible for PHIT reimbursements. These reimbursements would subsequently decrease out-of-pocket costs for taxpayers to exercise thereby, hopefully, making it easier for them to focus on their fitness. If the measure doesn’t pass, it’ll be business as usual. No harm no foul.
Regardless of how the PHIT pendulum swings, we’ll be here to bring you the latest news. Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to #redefinewellness!