Report: Healthcare law helping cover 50K people with serious conditions

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The report focuses on individual stories of people who have been helped by the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program.

"The PCIP program has changed tens of thousands of lives, and in many cases, literally has saved lives," the report concludes.

It also breaks down the enrollment by demographics and type of illness: In 2011, the federally administered pool served 628 enrollees with cancer — including 333 with breast cancer — who were responsible for 27 percent of the pool's costs.

Other high-cost diseases covered by the pool included: 

• Diseases of the circulatory system (18.6 percent of costs);

• Rehabilitative care and post-surgical care (18 percent); and

• Degenerative joint diseases (14.4 percent).

The report also found that people aged 55 and older made up the largest segment of enrollees, and women made up a majority of enrollees despite being less likely to be uninsured than men.