Mishawaka woman battles brain tumor and Medicaid
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 8:43 PM EST | Updated: Nov 5, 2014 6:12 PM EST
MISHAWAKA, Ind. - What if you aged decades in just a few months and you couldn’t afford to go to a doctor? It’s a problem a Mishawaka woman has been facing for nearly a year.
48-year-old Tina Baugher has been battling a brain tumor since February 2011. Since her surgery her health has severely decayed. She qualifies for disability from the State of Indiana, but has been denied Medicaid multiple times.
Baugher contacted ABC 57 News for help.
Just by looking Baugher, her age is deceiving. “When we go places people think she’s my mother,” said Baugher’s boyfriend Randy Lee.
A year ago, three weeks after taking a new job, Baugher was diagnosed with a severe brain tumor. She had surgery and radiation. Medicaid covered most of the cost but Baugher said one week after being released her Medicaid coverage was dropped.
Now she’s blind in one eye untreated and takes no medication. “I don’t have the money to pay for medications,” she said. “I’m supposed to have radiation. I’m supposed to have another MRI, but I can’t get it, nobody will give it to me without insurance.”
“I feel like she’s not getting better, she’s getting worse,” said Lee. Lee helped Baugher get disability from the state but they’ve applied for Medicaid six times and been denied every time.
Baugher showed us her last denial letter from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration:
The letter said; ‘The social and medical information submitted does not confirm that your condition substantially impairs your ability to perform labor.’
The medical paperwork Baugher submitted from IU Health said Baugher can’t drive and can’t lift over 10 pounds.
“Social Services said I can work but I don’t see how that is possible,” said Baugher. In her condition, she said she can’t even stay awake for more than 90 minutes.
Friday ABC 57 News accompanied Baugher to the Mishawaka Family and Social Services building on Lincoln Way West. An appeal was filled out for Baugher. “I think a lot of it had to do with you being there,” said Baugher.
Baugher could still be denied by a judge but hopes she gets the coverage she needs.
ABC 57 News contacted the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration in Indianapolis about Baugher’s condition. A spokesperson wrote;
‘Applicants receive a notification by mail outlining the appeals process. If there is intent to appeal, the individual must notify FSSA’s Division of Family Resources (DFR) within 30 days of the denial date. DFR then schedules a hearing with an administrative law judge, and the individual’s case is reexamined.’