Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2016

Publication Citation

91 Indiana Law Journal 597 (2016)


With lifestyle-related disease on the rise and an increasing number of employers being held responsible for providing health insurance to their employees, we as a society have incentives to promote wellness, even if only to cut health care costs. Part I of this Note outlines a brief history of employer-provided wellness benefits and provides a concise summary of the employer-provided wellness benefits available. Part II analyzes the relevant federal income tax law, specifically, the fringe benefits provision of the Internal Revenue Code, and concludes that under existing tax law, on-premises gym facilities do not yield any taxable income to employees, but employer-subsidized, off-premises gym memberships do. Finally, Part III outlines the benefits of using the tax code to incentivize behavior and advocates that, in order to incentivize the distribution and use of employer-provided wellness benefits--specifically, subsidized health club memberships--these benefits should not be included in gross income, as it is used to calculate federal income tax consequences.