Going to the gym could soon come with a tax break

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 06:22:51-04

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed what’s called the PHIT Act. The Senate still needs to approve it. 

The effort is founded by a man from Jupiter. 

If this passes, it would apply to those who have a pretax medical account-health savings account or flexible spending account. That same tax-free money could be spent on helping you be more active.

“Anything that would give people the incentive to not have the excuse of, 'Oh, it’s just an extra expense,' would be great,” said Bethany Loar, assistant manager and instructor at Fitness Hub in downtown West Palm Beach. 

Whether it’s a workout at a gym, signing up for a marathon or league dues for your kid’s baseball season, the costs can add up. But the PHIT Act would allow you to use tax-free money to pay for those memberships or race registrations. Not just healthcare costs.

“We have more of a sick care system than a healthcare system. We have so many ways of treating people that are already sick. We don’t have many things that prevent healthcare costs,” said Jim Baugh. 

Baugh is from Jupiter. He founded PHIT America. He’s been lobbying for the legislation for five years now. 

“You may go to Walgreens or CVS to use your pretax medical account but now you can use it to get more active and healthier overall,” he said. 

Ginelle Ruffa is an instructor at Fitness Hub. She helps empower people to take control over their health. 

“Exercise serves as a powerful tool in disease prevention, in heart disease, diabetes, cancer, longevity, strengthens the bones and muscles,” Ruffa said. 

The Senate will now debate and vote on the bill. That is expected to happen sometime after the November election.