Peter Orzag (Director of the Congressional Budget office Testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, Jan. 31, 2008)
"The ultimate objective of any healthcare system is to promote health...financial incentives could be modified to encourage behavior and discourage poor health habits."

PHIT 101

The Personal Health Investment Today Act (H.R. 2649)

What is PHIT?

PHIT is legislation pending in Congress to allow for reimbursement of physical activity expenses using pre-tax dollars. 

PHIT would reduce the costs of physical activity to encourage healthier lifestyles. 

Why is PHIT important to healthcare reform?

Healthcare spending continues to rise at an alarming rate. Medical expenditures account for 17% of the money generated by the U.S. economy. By 2015 the U.S. will spend $1 of every $5 ($4 trillion) on medical expenses.

A top priority of healthcare reform is to reduce spending. The World Health Organization reported that in the U.S. an investment of $1 in physical activity leads to $3.20 in medical costs savings.  

With 20% of the population accounting for 80% of health costs, prevention of costly chronic diseases is critical to reform efforts. Increased physical activity will improve health by preventing illness to lower medical spending.

How does PHIT work?

Currently pre-tax medical accounts are primarily used for reimbursement of medical expenses once you become sick. PHIT would allow taxpayers to place up to $2,000 a year in existing pre-tax medical accounts for reimbursement of physical activity expenses; lower costs will promote active lifestyles and improve the health of Americans.

What physical activity expenses would PHIT cover?

The activities eligible for pre-tax reimbursement under PHIT include:

  • Youth & Adult Sports League Fees
  • Health Club Membership Dues
  • Exercise Classes & Personal Trainers
  • Sports & Fitness Equipment (used exclusively for participation in physical activities)
  • Youth Camps
  • Organized Running Event Registration Fees
  • Martial Arts, Gymnastics & other physical activities