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Gateway to Work

What is Gateway to Work?

Gateway to Work is a part of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). It connects HIP members like you with ways to look for work, train for jobs, finish school and volunteer. Starting in 2019, you might be required to do Gateway to Work activities to keep your HIP benefits. The Indiana Family Social and Services Administration (FSSA) will give you your Gateway to Work status. Your status will be Reporting, Reporting Met or Exempt.

Gateway to Work logo

If your Gateway to Work status is “Reporting,” you need to meet a required number of activity hours each month and report them. There are many things you can do to meet the requirement. Activity hours must be reported using the FSSA Benefits Portal or by calling MHS. MHS can answer questions or connect you with new activities.

At the end of the year, we will look at all the hours you reported and determine if you met your required hours each month. You will need to meet the required monthly hours 8 out of 12 months of the year to keep your HIP benefits. Contact MHS if you have questions about Gateway to Work.

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If you don’t see your question below, read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF).

Any HIP member can do the Gateway to Work program but some HIP members are required to do it. Based on the information you have reported to FSSA, a Gateway to Work status has been assigned to you. Every HIP member has one of the following status assignments for Gateway to Work:

Exempt – “Exempt" means you meet an exemption for Gateway to Work. You are not required to participate during months you are exempt, but you can if you want to.

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 do Gateway to Work. You will have to work, attend classes or volunteer and report those activities each month through the FSSA Benefits Portal. You can also call MHS to report your hours.

FSSA will mail you a letter with your Gateway to Work status. To check your Gateway to Work status, call MHS at 1-833-245-7901, log on to the FSSA Benefits Portal, or look at your monthly POWER Account statement (beginning in March 2019). Your status may change during the year if you have a change in your work or school status, or if you start or stop meeting an exemption.

If your Gateway to Work status is “Exempt,” you are not required to participate in Gateway to Work for the months you are exempt, but you can participate if you want to. 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 (a dependent is your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, grandchild, step-grandchild or other relative)
      • A disabled dependent (a dependent is your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, grandchild, step-grandchild or other relative)
      • Kinship caregiver of an abused or neglected child (kinship 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 2 classes in a long semester or 1 class in a short semester.
  • Other possible exemptions will be reviewed for good cause on an individual basis

If you meet one of these exemptions and were not given a Gateway to Work “Exempt” status, you need to call MHS.

Gateway to Work’s required activity hours will increase on a set schedule. This is designed to give you time to learn about the program, contact your health plan, find Gateway to Work partners and activities you can do, and set up your FSSA Benefits Portal account. After July 1, 2020, the required activity hours reach 80 hours per month.

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 as shown below:


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.

You may meet your required number of hours by doing any of the activities below. You can earn hours in more than one category. For example, in one month you could go to job training for 5 hours and volunteer for 5 hours to earn 10 hours.


  • Employment
    • Employed or self-employed and receiving wages
  • Job search activities
    • Such as going to 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


  • 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, gardening or cooking classes
  • Job skills training
  • Vocational education or training
  • English as a Second Language education


  • Volunteer work
    • Such as helping at your children’s school, your church or helping people in your neighborhood
  • 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.

Other activities may be accepted based on individual review.

General information about Gateway to Work can be found at (click on “Gateway to Work”). The website includes:

  • Link to the FSSA Benefits Portal to report your hours
  • General information about Gateway to Work
  • An online assessment to help you find what Gateway to Work activity might be right for you and where to start
  • A list of places where you can work or volunteer

MHS can also provide resources for participation in Gateway to Work.

To report an activity, you will need the type, date, location and the number of hours completed. It is best to report hours as soon as you finish an activity to make sure you do not forget, but you can report at any time after the activity is complete. You will need to report all activity hours completed for the year by December. You can report your hours:

  • Online – Use the FSSA Benefits Portal on your phone or desktop computer.
  • By phone with MHS – Call MHS at 1-833-245-7901 to report hours.

You can also find a Gateway to Work partner on the HIP website at (click on “Gateway to Work”) who may be able to help you.

MHS will send you your Gateway to Work status on each monthly POWER Account statement. This will help you keep track of your progress every month throughout the year.

At the end of the year, a review will determine whether you have met your requirements.  If you do not log or complete the required number of hours, you may lose your HIP benefits for the following year. Your HIP benefits will be suspended until you meet the requirements for Gateway to Work.

Many resources are available to help members participate in the Gateway to Work program. You can take an online assessment at (click on “Gateway to Work”) to help you find activities you can do for Gateway to Work. You can also call MHS to take the assessment over the phone. If you need more help, we can do a longer assessment over the phone. This will help find any problems you might have to meet your Gateway to Work activity hours. We can talk about your interests and skills and develop a plan for you to be successful with Gateway to Work.

REMEMBER:  If you do not meet your Gateway to Work Requirements each year, your HIP benefits will be suspended beginning on January 1 the following year. This means you would not be able to use your HIP benefits to receive health care. Your suspension could last one full year.

For example if you do not meet the requirements or have an exemption for at least 8 months in 2019 your HIP benefits will be suspended on January 1, 2020.

Before you get suspended, you will receive notices in the mail warning you that you have not reported sufficient hours to meet your Gateway to Work requirements for the year. This will provide you time to complete Gateway to Work. You can log hours earned during the year at any time. For example if you forgot to log your hours earned for May, you can log these hours later in the year. This can help you keep your benefits.

If you are suspended, you will no longer have HIP benefits with MHS. You will be contacted by FSSA, who will work with you to meet the requirement and unsuspend your HIP benefits. You can restart your benefits by meeting your hours for at least one month or meeting an exemption during your suspension.

For questions about the program or issues reporting hours, contact MHS at 1-833-245-7901