What is IRIS?

IRIS is the state of Wisconsin's Medicaid Waiver program for adults who have long-term care needs.  IRIS stands for: Include, Respect, I Self-Direct.


The IRIS program has been developed to provide participant independence and stability. IRIS participants manage their individualized long term care needs. This program allows individuals to be in the best position to live a well connected life within their community. The IRIS program has these benefits:

  • Freedom to decide how you want to live your life
  • Authority over a specific budget (Purchase of approved goods and services)
  • Support to organize resources in ways that are life-enhancing and meaningful to you (Hiring caregivers)
  • Responsibility for the wise use of public funds and recognizing the contribution you make to your community
  • Confirmation of the important leadership role of self-advocates and families within the system they rely upon
  • Self determination.