The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) -- a new health insurance program for people with health problems -- ended 2011 with 48,879 enrollees.
That's up from none in the summer of 2010, when the program started, officials at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) say in a new PCIP report.
Many PCIP participants need treatment for conditions such as cancer, ischemic heart disease, degenerative bone diseases or hemophilia, officials say.
People who enroll in the PCIP program are not charged a higher premium because of their medical condition. Premiums may vary only on the basis of age, geographic area and tobacco use.