Success Stories

Cyboran Consulting works in partnership to achieve results with the foundation of a core philosophy to develop solutions to generate desired behaviors and results. Examples of results achieved by clients with which Steve Cyboran has worked include:

Benefits Strategy – For a 10,000 faculty and staff rural state university, developed a health care strategy that:

  1. Realigned health care, dental, pharmacy, disability, communications, voluntary benefits, and HR technology with its benefits philosophy
  2. Developed a network strategy to obtain a 25% reduction in fees for the dominant clinic and only hospital system in the area
  3. Supported a health improvement plan that led to 30% reduction in health risks, lower rate of hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and reduction in the costs for participants relative to non-participants from the base period
  4. Resulted in savings of over $15 million annually through better control of expenditures and without significant benefit reductions
  5. Improved the benefits trust from running a significant annual deficit with reserve shortfalls to maintaining adequate reserves without significant increases in the University's budget
  6. Enhanced the employee experience
  7. Reduced the administrative burden on the HR and benefits staff

Student Health Insurance - For a state university that experienced low loss ratios three years in a row with a student health insurer where there was a long-standing relationship based on mutual trust with recent administrative concerns that hampered the relationship, Steve helped negotiated with the insurer to acheive:

  1. 5.5% composite rate reduction saving close to $1 M
  2. Risk-sharing arrangement that enabled sharing in favorable experience up to 6% premium with no downside risk
  3. Performance guarantees
  4. Renewal methodology that reduces all future premium calculations by at least 2.5%
  5. Identification of several financial, administrative, plan design issues to improve the operation and attractiveness of the plan

Streamlined Benefits, Health Promotion, Compliance – Worked with a 12,000 employee health system to consolidate benefit and contribution structures for 10 entities to align with their mission and comply with the Affordable Care Act. We developed a benefits architecture to drive participation in the organization’s wellness initiatives and lead to healthy behaviors. The efforts resulted in:

  1. Over 95% participation in health risk assessments, biometric screenings and cotinine testing,
  2. 75% of employees risk free on all six outcome measures
  3. Total costs significantly under a flat budget
  4. A strategy to meet the coverage and affordability tests for all full time and applicable part time employees

Graduate Assistant Value Proposition™ (GAVP™) - For a graduate program that faced criticism and challenges recruiting top tier graduate assistant candidates at least partially due to the high cost of dependent health insurance, Steve helped rethink the value proposition and model alternatives to:

  1. Maintain budget neutral expenditures
  2. Achieve affordability for graduate assistants with dependents
  3. Minimize the financial impact on single graduate assistants
  4. Maintain a competitive offering

Healthy Culture – For a 1,300 employee health system, facilitated the development of a healthy culture strategy leading to:

  1. Flat health care trends over multiple years leading to more than $20M in cost avoidance
  2. Reduced health risks
  3. Achievement of a WELCOA Gold Award on first application
  4. A model for a broader community effort

Graduate Assistantship Benchmarking and Analysis - For a large private university facing scrutiny of its graduate program stipend levels and student health insurance subsidy levels, we conducted a benchmark study of its peer costs, policies and practices and an analysis of the current programs. We achieved over 40% participation in a very compressed time frame to address:

  1. Competitive levels of stipends
  2. Coverage type (SHP vs. GHP), options and funding arrangement for health coverage
  3. Premium and subsidy levels for health coverage
  4. Tax treatment of graduate level health coverage subsidies
  5. Policies around eligibility and coverage waivers
  6. Administrative practices 

Self-Funded Student Health Coverage - A public higher education institution with approximately 3,300 covered students sought savings and design flexibility, particularly related to its own student health center and health science center. We provided support to develop a self-funded plan to allow it to:

  1. Tailor the program for the student health plan
  2. Avoid premium taxes and risk charges
  3. Implement a best in class claims administrator, network provider, stop-loss carrier, and pharmacy benefit manager

Resulting in:

  1. Flat premiums equivalent rates for the first three years
  2. Accumulated surplus (excess collected over claims, expenses and actuarial reserves) approaching $1 million for the first 18 months
  3. More control to make program changes when student needs are identified
  4. Ownership of data to support future decision making and program management

Workforce Management - A higher education institution with multiple colleges and departments, unique employment relationships, no central workforce management, non-benefits eligible part time employees working in multiple departments and part-time salaried job descriptions that do not clearly limit hours. We analyzed and modified job descriptions to construct a central workforce management policy followed by all departments, draft policy for crediting hours for graduate assistants, and develop central hours monitoring system to assure compliance resulting in:

  1. Reduced likelihood of ACA violations
  2. Improved ACA reporting capabilities
  3. Improved record keeping at the department level
  4. Increased audit preparedness, the comprehensive policy document to show “good faith effort” at compliance
  5. Greater understanding among departments, resulting in better communications to new employees, employees requesting additional hours or positions in additional departments, etc.

Leave, Disability and Absence – Redesigned leave and disability programs for a top ranked private university with 2,000 faculty and staff to fit with their desired employee value proposition and drive accountability and employee behaviors resulting in:

  1. An improved workplace culture
  2. More accountable and reliable workforce as measured by:
    • 52% reduction in unscheduled absence
    • 72% reduction in extended absence
  3. With additional value of improved employee relations as measured by:
    • 95% reduction in related employee relations issues
    • 29% reduction in high performer turnover and
    • 36% increased low performer turnover

Health Promotion – For a 1,400 employee urban health system, facilitated the development of a healthy culture strategy, redesigned benefit programs, incentives and communications to achieve:

  1. 91% employee participation (up from 17%)
  2. 85% spouse participation (up from 0%)
  3. $1 million reduction in health care expenses (including cost of wellness and incentives)

Streamlining Benefits - Streamlined benefits for three recently merged US-based companies in diverse industries, with very different benefit philosophies, to be consistent with its parent’s global benefit philosophy, leading to:

  1. Projected savings of 9% on the overall benefit program
  2. Simplified administration
  3. Enhanced employee experience
  4. Preserved the opportunity for employees to maintain current benefit levels

Consumerism, Streamlining Benefits – Orchestrated a team of representatives from across 13 delivery networks of a Midwestern state’s second largest health system to:

  1. Standardize benefits
  2. Enhance cost controls
  3. Incorporate shared responsibility
  4. Negotiate renewals
  5. Implement changes
  6. Save $7.1 million without reducing benefits

Disability Operational Transformation – For a rapidly growing health system with 30,000 employees, Steve led a team that assessed the internal leave and disability program operation, leading to recommendations and changes for process improvement, organization redesign, enhanced user interface and customer service protocols and metrics for monitoring performance and staffing. Results included:

  1. The operation remained in house
  2. Compliance improved
  3. Enhanced customer experience
  4. An aligned program with the system’s employee value proposition, wellness and health management initiatives


...The engagement of the faculty and staff; the timeliness with the implementation of the redesigned programs; the value proposition and the demonstrated return on investment aided in improving the campus culture related to personal, sick and disability leaves; reducing absenteeism; improving productivity; retaining our most productive staff and saving money. We attribute this to Steve's expertise and ability to get stakeholders engaged. 

  • Curtis N. Powell, M.S, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice President for Human Resources, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

...Our medical and prescription drug claims for the last 5 years trended below PEPY trend by 17%; this saved us over $22,000,000. ...received numerous awards and recognition for our program. ...we are most proud ...WELCOA’s Gold Award ...

  • Fran Keane, VPHR, CentraState Healthcare System, New Jersey

When we were faced with health care budget shortfalls and the budget was projected to be greater than the budget of our schools of engineering, Steve helped us...

  • Brent Bowditch, former Assistant Director of Human Resource Services / Director of Benefits and WorkLife Programs, Purdue University

...resulted in a five-fold increase in employee participation in Health Risk Assessments (to over 90%) and initial spouse participation in the HRA of 85%, while reducing our health care budget over three years. ...

  • Glen Sterling, former Director of Benefits & Compensation, Mercy Health System of Maine; current Senior Director of Compensation and Benefits, VITAS Healthcare

...The strategy required minimal university budget increase, allowed employees the opportunity to maintain their current contribution levels, and offered competitive benefits. In the end, we achieved 88% participation in our wellness programs helping to create a culture of health and well-being, in addition to energy and enthusiasm across the workforce.

  • Tony Glisson, Human Resources Director, Western Kentucky University

...we applied the principles of behavioral economics to get 98% participation in our wellness programs with 75% becoming verifiably risk free... ...we realized over $2.5 million in cost savings in the first year of the new program, while our employees’ costs also declined by another $2.0 million.

  • J. Michael Vittoria, former Vice President, Corporate Benefit Services, MaineHealth

...Steve was able tell the story with data that a richer design would financially benefit the corporation and then developed and financially modeled a plan to streamline and administer the programs more efficiently while enhancing the employment experience...

  • Allison Brown, former Director - Employee Services, Health and Welfare Benefits and Payroll, Regis Corporation