Health and Employment
Counseling Program (HEC), Consumer Guide
What's in this Consumer Guide?
What is the Health and Employment Counseling Program (HEC)?
- When do I apply for the Medicaid Purchase Plan, before or after
enrolling in HEC?
- What is an Employment Plan?
- What are the steps I need to follow to complete an Employment Plan?
- What happens after I complete an Employment Plan – Next-to-Last Step?
- Last Step – Enrolling in HEC?
- Frequently asked questions?
- What if I need more time than 9 months to become employed?
What is the Health and Employment Counseling Program (HEC)?
The Health and Employment Counseling Program (HEC) is a 9-month,
program for people with disabilities who want to enroll in the
Medicaid Purchase Plan (MAPP), but who are not yet employed.
Through the Medicaid Purchase Plan, people with disabilities who are working or
enrolled in HEC may buy their Medicaid coverage by paying a monthly premium,
based on income. Individuals with low income may not have to pay a premium.
When do I apply for the Medicaid Purchase Plan, before or after
Contact a county economic support worker before you start the HEC
process. The economic support worker can help you apply and see whether you meet
requirements for MAPP. Also, if you don’t have a disability
determination from the
Disability Determination Bureau (which you must have to
participate in MAPP), the
economic support worker will get your application
started. Look in the government
pages in your telephone book or call 1-866-278-6440 to find the economic support
or Health & Human Services
agency near you.
What is the definition of "working"?
The economic support agency processing your Medicaid Purchase Plan (MAPP) application will confirm that you are meeting the work requirement for
There is no minimum number of hours required to meet the work requirement, so
can be part-time, self-employment, employment at a sheltered
workshop, or other.
Contact your economic support worker for more information
about the MAPP eligibility
You enroll in the HEC "program" by developing and completing an Employment
This plan should include your employment goals, and how you plan to
achieve those goals
within a 9-month timeframe.
The Employment Plan will be screened by a HEC Manager at the
of Health Services (DHS). If your plan is approved, you
will be enrolled in HEC. It is your responsibility to use the resources you’ve
identified in the Employment Plan to achieve your employment goals. At the
end of 9 months, you must be employed to continue to participate in the Medicaid
You may develop the Employment Plan on your own or with someone’s
assistance, such as
a caseworker, benefit specialist or vocational counselor. The Employment Plan
includes sections on benefits counseling, employment barriers assessment and
community resources. After
completing your plan, submit it to DHS final approval.
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter confirming your
enrollment in the HEC program. You must give a copy of this letter to the
economic support worker as verification of your HEC enrollment. If you have
met the other eligibility criteria, you may complete your enrollment in the
Medicaid Purchase Plan.
The Employment Plan:
The Employment Plan is a four-page tool to help you organize your employment
goals. You must have a completed, approved Employment Plan to enroll in the
Health and Employment Counseling program.
If you don’t have a blank form you may contact your economic support or
Use this form to think about your career goals, and identify the things that
may stand in
your way. There are five sections to the Employment Plan:
- Section 1 – Career Planning
- Section 2 – Employment Barriers
- Section 3 – Benefits Counseling
- Section 4 – Networking with Community Resources
- Section 5 – Create a Plan.
Fill out each section as completely as you can, then take the completed plan
to your HEC Manager for approval.
Note: If you already have a recent employment plan from an agency,
such as the Division
of Vocational Rehabilitation or a Community Service
Provider, you don’t need to complete the entire HEC Employment Plan.
Only fill in the areas of the HEC employment plan that your other employment
document does not cover. Then, attach a copy of your other plan.
Section 1- Career Planning
To start off your employment plan, think about your career goals:
- What do you want to be doing in 9 months?
- What kind of job do you want?
- What skills do you have?
- What skills do you need to be successful at the job you have identified?
You may also want to think about long-term career goals.
Remember, to continue in the Medicaid Purchase Plan, you need to be working
months of being approved for HEC.
Section 2 - Employment Barriers
If you had an offer from your dream job, what would prevent you from
going to work tomorrow? The things that come to mind are your "employment
Some examples of employment barriers may be; a limited work history, reliable transportation, skills training, or assistive technology. Write your employment
down in question 4.
Think about what you need to do to remove your barriers. Write down your
Section 3 - Benefits Counseling
If you go to work and increase your earnings, it will affect the
benefits that you receive. The Health and Employment Counseling Program
encourages you to have
a benefits discussion with a work incentives benefits specialist before
you go to work.
For additional information about your benefits, contact the following
Social Security Administration: (800)-772-1213 or www.ssa.gov
Local County Health & Human Services or Job Center:
- You may request a "Redbook" for information on Social Security
Local Housing Authority: www.hudclips.org
- Information on Food Stamps or Medical Assistance.
- Information on Section 8 or Public Housing.
Benefits Tips . . . Some things to think about:
- What kinds of benefits do you receive?
- How will each of those benefits change with increased earnings? And what
incentives might be available?
- How will the Medicaid Purchase Plan features affect your other benefits?
For example, higher assets in MAPP may decrease or eliminate other
Section 4 - Networking With Community Resources
Use this section of the Employment Plan to write down what resources
you are working
with or plan to contact to pursue your employment goals.
Identify a contact name, agency/role and phone number for all agencies with
which you are working. Your Regional Screener may also be able to help you with possible resources in your community.
Section 5 - Create a Plan
In this section, you will create your plan for achieving employment
any barriers you identify. For example, if you need to learn more
about your chosen
job goal, you may plan to meet with someone who works in a job
like the one you
want. Or you may need to take a class, or figure out how to get
to and from work. Write down the steps you need to complete, and when you plan to do them in
this section. This is your plan of action to help you find and keep a job.
Now, take your completed Employment Plan to the HEC Manager at DHS.
If you don’t know how to find a screener in your area call 1-866-278-6440.
If your Employment Plan Application is screened successfully, you will receive a letter
from the HEC Manager located at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
If it’s not approved, you will receive an explanation of why it was not
approved. You can appeal this decision through the Medicaid appeals process if
or you may also submit a revised plan to the HEC Manager.
After you receive an approval letter from the Department of Health Services you have 9 months to put your Employment Plan into action and
find a job.
To complete your enrollment in MAPP and begin receiving
Medicaid, take this letter to your economic support worker. If you meet
all of the MAPP eligibility requirements, you may participate. Good luck!
Don’t forget! There is no limit to the number of months/years that
you can participate
in the Medicaid Purchase Plan, as long as you meet all the
Last Revised: January 05, 2012