Bridget, Springfield

Bridget is a 39-year-old in Springfield who is legally blind. She began receiving health care through Medicaid when she was 18, as well as receiving SSI (supplemental security income). When she married her husband Rob in 2007, she was put on a spend-down (which meant she had to spend the ‘excess income’ that disqualified her for Medicaid on health bills every month.) Bridget then applied for a blind pension but was at first denied due to her sight not meeting eligibility criteria. She appealed this decision in 2008 and won. A few years after another visual review, she was denied, appealed, and won again. “I’m afraid one of these years I’m going to get a state ophthalmologist who won’t even accept my appeal.” Going to her husband’s insurance through his employer would double the amount they take out of his paycheck currently. Bridget also has depression and anxiety and receives mental health care through Medicaid. “I see my eye doctor twice a year and a psychiatrist 4 times a year. We could end up in debt.” With her next visual review in 2022, her eligibility remains in the hands of a doctor who may deny her as many have in the past.