Gateway to Work FAQ

Q:   What is HIP Gateway to Work?

A:   Gateway to Work is a part of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). Some HIP members are required to participate in it to keep their HIP benefits. It connects members with ways to look for work, train for jobs, finish school and volunteer. Starting in 2019, some members will have to do these activities for a certain number of hours each month to keep their HIP benefits.
 

Q:   When does it start?

A:   Beginning in January 2019, some members will be required to participate. FSSA will notify you if you are required to participate. If your Gateway to Work status is “Reporting,” you will be required to work, go to school, volunteer or participate in other qualifying activities up to 80 hours a month.

 

Q:   Will I have to participate?

A:   You will receive a letter telling you what your Gateway to Work status is. Depending on your status, you may have to participate. The statuses are:
 
Exempt “Exempt" means you meet an exemption for Gateway to Work. You are not required to participate during months you are exempt.
Reporting Met “Reporting Met" means you do not meet an exemption, but already work at least 20 hours per week. You do not need to do anything new for Gateway to Work unless you report a change of employment to FSSA.
Reporting “Reporting" means you are required to participate in Gateway to Work by working, attending classes, or volunteering and reporting those activities each month through the FSSA Benefits Portal. You can also call MDwise to report your hours.
 

Q:   How can I find out if I am required to participate in Gateway to Work?

A:   You will receive a letter telling you if you are required to participate in Gateway to Work. You can also check your status at any time by:
  • Calling your health plan at 800-356-1204 or 317-630-2831 in the Indianapolis area.
  • Using the FSSA Benefits Portal.
  • Reviewing your monthly POWER Account statement (after March 2019).
 

Q:   What would make me exempt from having to participate?

A:   If you are exempt, you do not have to report hours unless your exemption ends. Exempt members can still participate in Gateway to Work for their own personal benefit but are not required.
 
Exemptions include:
  • Age 60 years and older
    • Your exemption starts the month you turn 60 years old.
  • TANF or SNAP recipient
    • All months you are receiving TANF (cash assistance) or SNAP (EBT card) benefits.
  • Medically frail
    • All months you have been determined medically frail by your health plan.
  • Pregnant
    • All months you are pregnant beginning the month you get pregnant and then for 2 months after delivery.
  • Homeless
    • All months you are homeless or do not have stable housing.
  • Institutionalized
    • Within the last 30 days, all months you have been in a hospital or facility for more than 1 day.
  • In treatment for a substance use disorder
    • All months you are in substance abuse or addiction treatment.
  • Recently incarcerated for a period of at least 30 days in the past 6 months
    • If you have been in prison or jail for at least 30 days in the last 6 months, you are exempt the month you are released and the 6 months following your release.
  • Certified temporary illness or incapacity
    • All months you have a temporary illness or incapacity determined by the following:
      • You have an inpatient hospital stay covered by HIP.
      • You have an illness or injury certified by your doctor.
  • Caregiver:
    • All months you are a primary caregiver for the following
      • A dependent child under 7 years old (your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, grandchild, step-grandchild, or relative).
      • A disabled dependent (your spouse, sibling, biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, grandchild, step-grandchild, or relative).
      • Kinship caregiver of an abused or neglected child (kindship caregiver means you are a relative to this child).
  • Student (half or full-time)
    • All months you are enrolled and attending, a postsecondary educational institution (like college) or vocational school. Half time is at least 2 classes in a long semester or one class in a short semester.

Other possible exemptions will be reviewed for good cause on an individual basis
 

Q:   What do I need to do to make sure I keep my benefits in 2020? 

A:   To keep your benefits you need to have 8 months in 2019 that you meet the GTW requirement. This can be any 8 months in the year. You can meet the requirement in any month by reporting activity hours for Gateway to Work or being exempt from the requirement. Months you are not enrolled in HIP during the year do not count against you. 
 

Q:  When do my Gateway to Hours increase?  

A:   If your Gateway to Work status is “Reporting,” you will need to do qualifying activities for a certain number of hours each month. Hours do not carry over from month to month. The number will start at zero in January 2019 and increase.
 
Date Required Hours
January 1, 2019 - June 30, 2019 0 hours per month
July 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019 20 hours per month
October 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019 40 hours per month
January 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020 60 hours per month
July 1, 2020 - Ongoing 80 hours per month

For example, in July 2019, if you do 5 hours of activities each week, you will meet the 20 hour requirement for the month. When the requirement goes up in October 2019, if you do 10 hours of activities each week, you will meet the 40 hour requirement for the month.
 

Q:  Why are my required Gateway to Work hours increasing?

A:   This is designed to give you time to learn about the program, contact MDwise, find Gateway to Work Partners, and set up your FSSA Benefits Portal account. After July 1, 2020, the required activity hours reach 80 hours per month.
 

Q:   What are Gateway to Work qualifying activities?

A:   If you are required to participate in Gateway to Work, here are the things you can do:
 
Work
  • Employment
    • You are employed or self-employed and receiving wages.
    • You are in an employment mentoring program.
    • You are in the National Guard service.
  • Job search activities
    • Such as attending job fairs, applying for jobs, reviewing online job postings, or writing your resume.
  • Education related to employment
    • On-the-job training.
  • Homeschooling
    • You homeschool your child in the home setting, meeting all legal requirements for homeschooling.
  • Members of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi participating in the tribe’s comprehensive Pathways program.

Learn
  • Adult education
    • Preparing to take the High School Equivalency test.
    • Attending educational classes beyond high school (postsecondary education like college).
    • Attending other general education classes or training from a not-for-profit, public institution, or Gateway to Work Partner.
      • Activity hours includes class time, study time and travel time.
  • General education
    • Such as taking a budgeting, computer skills, resume writing, gardening or cooking classes.
    • A program like Fathers First for family and kids.
    • Financial literacy programs.
    • Time spent working with a not-for-profit on case management, barrier relief, long term planning and goal setting.
  • Job skills training.
  • Vocational education or training.
  • English as a Second Language education.
 
Serve
  • Volunteer work
    • Such as helping at your children’s school, your church, or people in your neighborhood.
    • A faith-based internship or faith-based sponsored mission trip.
    • Volunteering for a political campaign.
    • Helping a neighbor, relative, or friend with basic needs.
    • Doing neighborhood cleanup.
  • Community service/public service with any organization
    • Volunteering through an established nonprofit organization.
  • Community work experience
    • A program offered by a Gateway to Work partner that would provide you with general skills, knowledge, and work habit training.
  • Caregiving services
    • Such as helping a person with a chronic, disabling condition.
 
Additional activities that don’t fit the list above may be approved based on individual review.
  • For example, if you take care of a child under 18 without a formal court order (you are the grandparent, aunt, uncle) you may be able to report activity hours for taking care of this child.
  • For example, if you attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, you may be able to report time spent in meetings as activity hours.
 

Q:   Are there things that won’t count for Gateway to Work activity hours?

A:   The following things will not count toward your requirement for Gateway to Work.
  • Illegal activities.
  • Going to the doctor or attending medical appointments.
  • Time spent in medical or behavioral health counseling or case management.
 

Q:   Do I need to give you documents to prove the activity hours I report?

A:   No documents are required to report your activity hours, but you can provide them to MDwise if it is helpful to you.
 

Q:   Will online classes, internships or apprenticeships count?

A:   Yes, you can report all of these as hours for Gateway to Work.
 

Q.   How can I find enough work or other opportunities to meet the requirement?

A:   You can go to www.HIP.in.gov and click on “Gateway to Work.” There you can find many activities in your area and Gateway to Work partners who can help you. MDwise can also help you find opportunities.
 

Q:  How do I find places to volunteer?

A:   You can go to www.HIP.in.gov and click on “Gateway to Work.” There you can find volunteer opportunities in your area and Gateway to Work partners who can help you. MDwise can also help you find opportunities.
 

Q:   Can I volunteer anywhere or only at specific locations?

A:   You can volunteer anywhere. We do have a list of volunteer opportunities if you need help to find one. You can go to www.HIP.in.gov and click on “Gateway to Work.” There you can find many activities in your area and Gateway to Work partners who can help you. MDwise can also help you find opportunities.
 

Q:   I help my neighbor, does that count?

A:   Yes! Helping a neighbor and helping your community counts as a Gateway to Work activity.
 

Q:   How will I report my hours?

A:   You can report your hours:
  • Online using the FSSA Benefits Portal on your phone or desktop computer.
  • By calling MDwise.
 

Q:   Do I need to start logging activities in January 2019?

A:   Logging hours between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, is optional and not required. For the first 6 months of 2019, Gateway to Work has a 0 hour requirement to give you time to learn about the program, contact your health plan, find Gateway to Work Partners, and set up your FSSA Benefits Portal account. After July 1, 2020, the required activity hours reach 80 hours per month. You need to start reporting hours in July of 2019.  The hour requirement will increase from 20 hours per month to 80 hours per month between July of 2019 and July of 2020.
 

Q:   If I don’t meet the work requirements, does my whole family lose coverage or just me?

A:   No, only you will be suspended from HIP coverage. Anyone else in the house who is covered by HIP or another Indiana Health Coverage Program, such as Hoosier Healthwise, will keep their benefits.
 

Q:   What happens if I don’t want to do Gateway to Work or don’t meet the requirements?

A:   If you are required to do Gateway to Work and you choose not to report hours, your HIP benefits will be suspended at the end of the calendar year. You need to report hours for at least 8 months this year. If you get suspended, the state (FSSA) will work with you to get your HIP benefits restored.
 

Q:   Can my HIP benefits be suspended or terminated monthly?

A:   No, Gateway to Work is a calendar year program. Your benefits will be suspended starting January 1 if you do not meet the requirement for Gateway to Work the previous year.
 

Q:   What if I get sick and can’t work?

A:   If you become ill or get injured for a long time, you need to call us to let us know. You might get an exemption from Gateway to Work for the months you are unable to do any activities.
 

Q:   What if I can’t work one month? Or I’m a seasonal worker?

A:   You need to meet your hours at least 8 of 12 months during a calendar year. It’s ok to miss a couple months.
     

Q:   What sort of documentation will I need to provide?

A:   No documents are required to report Gateway to Work activities. We might ask you for documents if you become exempt from the program.
 

Q:   When will I receive more information about the program?

A:   You can go to www.HIP.in.gov and click on “Gateway to Work.” There you can find many activities in your area and Gateway to Work partners who can help you. MDwise can also help you find opportunities and answer questions.
 

Q:   What if I take care of my grandchildren or babysit in my neighborhood?

A:   You can report those hours! Caregiving is a “Serve” activity.
 

Q:   If I am exempt, can I still do Gateway to Work?

A:   Yes, any HIP member can participate in Gateway to Work.