What is the IRIS program?

IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) is a self-directed program for Wisconsin’s frail elders and adults with disabilities. You have to be eligible for Medicaid to be in the IRIS program.

IRIS is built on the principles of self-determination and self-direction. That means that you will have the freedom to decide how you want to live your life.

How it works

When you join IRIS, a budget is established for you based on your long-term care needs and goals. You get to decide what goods, support, and services will help you achieve your goals and, using your budget, you will help create a support and service plan to meet your needs. Your IRIS services will be there to help you live a meaningful life.

Since you will have a lot of freedom and choice, you will be taking on the responsibilities of managing your budget, acting as an employer to workers you choose to hire, and completing important paperwork for the program and your workers. You will also be responsible for reporting changes in your health or safety and maintaining your eligibility for Medicaid and the IRIS program.

You will need to understand and follow IRIS program rules and policies. If you choose to work with a provider, you will be responsible for negotiating the rate. If you choose to hire your own workers, you will be responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, scheduling, and supervising your employees. You will also need to have an emergency back-up plan to make sure someone is there to help you if your regular worker is unavailable. If there are changes in your health, condition, or safety, you will be responsible for reporting those changes.


To learn more about the IRIS Program and how to become a participant please call 715-284-3978 or visit the DHHS Website/IRIS