Actor Ewan McGregor has faced space monsters in Star Wars, and heroin addiction in Trainspotting DIS. However, when it came to dealing with a tiny mole on his face, McGregor needed some real-life help, big time.
The Scottish star, whose newest film, Deception (NWS) opens April 25, revealed to a BBC reporter on April 22 that specialists had recently removed a malignant mole from underneath his right eye. He did not disclose when the surgery took place, and said the cancer was "not a big deal."
For an accomplished independent contractor, such as McGregor, that may be so. But if you do not have an employer to provide insurance, cancer, even after it is gone, may make it more difficult for the rest of your life to receive health insurance coverage. That is because cancer usually falls under the category of a preexisting condition, according to Tony Lehrman, CEO of the health insurance brokerage Lehrman Group, based in Tucson, Ariz. An individual who works alone and is seeking health insurance for only himself or herself will have a hard time getting insured for preexisting conditions, says Lehrman. “Insurance companies are not benevolent. Not one of them,” says Lehrman. "They err on the side of their stock brokers."
A health insurance company can define a preexisting condition however it pleases, which means it can be almost any ailment including diabetes, an STD, asthma, depression, anxiety or infertility treatments, he says. "Some companies, if you’re taking Prozac, they won’t cover [you]."
However, every state has different standards for how insurance companies must serve their citizens. Some states mandate that an insurance company must offer insurance to anyone who wishes to buy it, according to Lehrman, although they may charge extra for a person who has what the company deems a preexisting condition. Other states will ask someone who wants insurance to wait 90 days after a treatment or after surgery before the company will supply coverage. Still other states allow an insurance company to deny coverage to anyone, he explains.