Whether a patient receives treatment in a 24-hour inpatient setting or a less restrictive day hospital program often depends strongly on what kinds of care the patient's health insurance policy covers. In 1974 advocates of partial hospitalization programs in Maryland began working for a state law requiring third-party payers to provide day hospital benefits to all policyholders. After realizing that the bill as drafted would not pass the legislature, its advocates negotiated with insurance carriers, legislators, and others. The bill was rewritten so that day hospital coverage must be offered as an option in group policies only, and at an adjusted premium if necessary. It was enacted into law in 1976 and became effective in January 1977.