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Quick Links:
IRIS Participant Map (116PDF)
DHS IRIS Brochure
2009 Annual Report of Wisconsin's LTC Programs

Aging and Disability Resource Centers
IRIS Consultant Agency (Exit DHS)
IRIS Financial Services Agency (Exit DHS)
Wisconsin Medical Assistance
IRIS Program Feedback (45K PDF)


IRIS is a Wisconsin long term care option that began July 1, 2008. Individuals who choose to participate in IRIS have more choices, control, and freedom to design their own support and service plans to meet their long term care-related functional, vocational, medical and social needs. Persons using IRIS self manage their goods and services and may use IRIS to remain in their community and avoid moving into a nursing home or an institution. With IRIS, adult Wisconsinites who are elderly or those with a physical or a developmental disability have control over the type of services they receive in home and community settings. The DHS IRIS brochure describes many IRIS details.

A key IRIS feature is the participant or their family member or representative being in charge of his/her long term care and fully self-directing his/her services, supports or goods and life. IRIS participants create a support and service plan for their long term care supports and services within a monthly budget amount. Individuals may hire their own service workers directly or they may purchase goods and services from an agency provider. In IRIS you choose the services you need, and decide where and how to spend your monthly IRIS budget. IRIS participants self manage their chosen goods and services. Your monthly budget may be adjusted based on your unique circumstances.

You select your own IRIS Consultant with help from the IRIS Consultant Agency. The IRIS Financial Services Agency pays the bills for services received that you authorize according to your written IRIS plan. Help from both of these IRIS agencies is provided at no cost to your plan and monthly budget. You may enlist the help of a support broker if desired, and support broker fees are paid out of your individual monthly budget.

IRIS allows you to choose which services you need, when and where you receive them and will help you to attain the highest quality of life possible. The Wisconsin DHS Bureau of Long Term Support is pleased to give Wisconsinites this important opportunity. IRIS is available to Wisconsinites who are Medicaid eligible and also eligible for publicly funded long term care services that live in a county where managed care (family care) is available. Individuals are offered the choice of IRIS or managed care when they enter the state publicly funded long term care system at their local Aging and Disability Resource Center. Check the Wisconsin map by to verify that IRIS is currently available in your county. If no information is listed for the county where you live you may contact your local Human or Social Services Office for this information.

The program known as IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) was developed with the assistance of Wisconsin Stakeholders representing long term care consumers, advocacy programs, counties, tribes, state DHS staff and others. IRIS is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and is implemented by the Bureau of Long Term Support under authorization of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. IRIS helps you self manage your chosen goods and services.

IRIS participants have access to an ombudsman program for questions and assistance. Disability Rights Wisconsin (exit DHS) is the ombudsman program for individuals ages 18 - 59. 

Where to find updated information:

We will continue to update and add to the information about IRIS and self-directed supports on these web pages, so check back frequently. If you need information that is not published here, you may contact:

IRIS Information
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Bureau of Long Term Support
1 West Wilson Street, Room 418

P.O. Box 7851
Madison WI  53707-7851

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Last Revised: January 30, 2014