Free Fitness? The Personal Health Investment Today Act (H.R. 2105)
On April 27th a bill was proposed to congress that would allow American's to use their medical savings accounts (MSA) or flexible savings accounts (FSA) to pay for fitness memberships, programs and exercise equipment with pre tax dollars. The main goal is to make fitness and health more affordable for the average family by allowing them to pay up to $2000 of health and fitness expenses straight from their MSA or FSA accounts.
Why is this so good? Here is my top ten.
- It will reduce the financial barriers that some people feel towards fitness
- It will allow gyms, studios and fitness professionals to offer a mix of services and memberships to new fitness participants.
- People will be more likely to invest in themselves if there is a financial incentive
- With over 65% of adults falling into the overweight, obese and inactive category a change is long overdue.
- Health related cost in the United States is expected to sky rocket with the aging population being followed by the obesity of the children an incentive is long overdue.
- Currently MSAs are used for prescriptions and an alternative approach to health is refreshing and needed as exercise and fitness has long been known to be effective in the treatment of many medical problems.
- The best time to get people active is during a recession as exercise improves modes, well being and helps to fight depression.
- To truly help in fighting obesity it needs to be a family affair, so this will help with gym memberships, sports team fees and the exercise equipment to keep the whole family healthy
- Currently I feel most exercise equipment is overpriced and my hope is this will be a start in making items more affordable as manufactures compete for these dollars.
- The PHIT Act is the first in many ways that congress can start to encourage people to be more active, next I hope to see nutrition such as healthy eating tax savings by an apple pay no tax.
There are probably a ton of other reasons and encourage everyone to post your top 5 or 10 I would love to hear them. Also for more information and how you as a health club owner or practitioner can voice your thoughts go to IHRSA and read more as well as find out how to join in the action to get this passed.