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What is the PHIT Act?: a guide on how the tax-break affects you and your family

Corey Loehr
September 10, 2018
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Working out, eating healthy, and staying active. We’re constantly writing about these three things because of how important it is to us to engage in these activities throughout your life. Imagine getting a tax break for simply joining a softball league, or attending a spin class. Enter the PHIT Act.Staying active contributes to a lower risk of obesity, and other health-related illnesses. It goes without saying that those engaging in physical activity are doing wonders for their minds, bodies, and respiratory systems. It’s only recently that the government may give you a tax break for taking your fitness seriously. And yes, we’re serious.

The PHIT Act: The Breakdown

The PHIT Act is comprised of legislation that would allow taxpayers to put aside up to $1,000 in a preexisting, pre-taxed medical account. If married, this would equate to up to $2,000. While you might not correlate a medical account with a fitness initiative, the point of the tax incentive is to get people involved in their local sports leagues, gyms, or other niche fitness classes. It's said that the PHIT Act would, in time, help to decrease health care costs from illnesses related to inactivity. Many employers or taxpayers have pre-existing medical or health accounts. As long as you itemize your tax deductibles, you are eligible for the tax break.The PHIT Act was passed by the House of Representatives in July 2018 as part of a larger health-savings package. It is one of the largest initiatives in medical and health to reduce overall costs of healthcare. While the government taxes items like cigarettes and alcohol, it’s exciting to see strong bipartisan support on an issue. With 58 Democrats and 47 Republicans supporting the bill, it’s one of the few things Congress agrees is an ongoing issue and one that Americans should be able to receive tax breaks on.

How the PHIT Could Change Healthcare in the U.S.

Providing Americans a way to deduct their health, fitness, and exercise is key to preventing long-term illness and rising healthcare costs. Additionally, the Act will eventually create a trickle-down effect for families. Parents who demonstrate a need to stay fit and active are 6 times more likely to raise children similarly. Sedentary lifestyles amongst children are the leading risk to obesity in later years, and the PHIT Act aims to demonstrate that leading a healthy lifestyle over time decreases time in the doctor’s office. Instead of the “sick-care” that exists, the PHIT Act gives Americans “wellness care”. It will eventually make staying healthy as simple as writing off your deductibles. Whether your interests lie in the gym, in sports leagues, or simply reducing costs attributed to childrens' sports, the PHIT Act exists for you. Making it easy, affordable, and tax-incentivized is key when determining alternate ways of lowering overall increasing healthcare costs.

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