Want to learn more about the people who guide PORAC’s trusts? In this series of profiles, we focus on the dedicated trustees who strive to put the needs of our members first by providing the best benefits possible.
Finding the right insurance provider can be a stressful and confusing process for many, which is why Region III Trustee Cody Green believes the Insurance and Benefits Trust of PORAC (IBT) is so crucial to members.
“The IBT has auto, home, medical, life, disability and other insurance products, just to name a few,” he says. “Negotiating and interacting with all these providers can be confusing at times, but through the hard work of the IBT and with good expert help, IBT provides members with insurance products that are priced fairly and deliver when needed — the most important part of having insurance.”
A lieutenant with the Santa Monica Police Department and 21-year law enforcement veteran, Green takes tremendous pride in helping his brothers and sisters in blue get grade-A insurance at an exceptional cost. “As a trustee, the number one responsibility is to ensure each plan is financially sound enough to pay out when the benefit is needed,” he says. “Secondarily, the trustees are advocates for the members to ensure they are getting the benefits they paid for. We are always looking to see if there are better coverages, whether that’s at a lower cost or with higher benefits, out there for the members. Lastly, the goal is to ensure the members are educated on the plans, costs and benefits they are entitled to.”
When it comes to finding the best insurance possible for members, Green compares the experience to shopping at Costco. “We approach insurance companies and get the best deal possible when we are able to show how many members we have,” he says. “The larger your membership and the more you buy, the better deal you get.”
The complexities, Green explains, come more from the vast number of different insurance products currently on the market, understanding how they work and figuring out their cost and when they pay out. “The insurance industry can get confusing very fast, so it’s important to be involved in order to have an understanding of how the system works,” he says. “It also benefits us because the trustees and IBT staff have contacts with each of the providers. When members have issues, we can reach out and see what’s going on, see why benefits are delayed and ensure they are being applied correctly.”
When PORAC members go through difficult life challenges, from health issues to the death of a family member, Green says being able to provide hope and comfort is what makes his role as a trustee so special. “It always feels good when we talk to members or hear about the benefits being there when people are going through some really tragic times in their lives,” he says.
It also makes the long hours and commitment worth it for Green, knowing he’s making a difference in a member’s life. “At times, it can become time consuming to keep up with everything going on,” he says. “There is a lot of reading of reports, financials and emails, along with a steep learning curve of getting educated about the insurance world. Like everything, you have to find time, read up on the issues, ask questions and risk looking dumb sometimes if you don’t understand it. There is no magic solution to learning — you just have to jump in.”
By jumping into his role feet first, Green has gotten the word out about all the benefits offered to members and has been a valuable asset to IBT and PORAC. He’s also realized all the great things that can happen when PORAC members work together.
“If you have ever called an insurance company trying to get a question answered, you’ll understand how difficult it can be at times,” he says. “Working collectively as law enforcement, as PORAC members, we are very powerful. We bring a lot of money, expertise and influence to the table. When we all get behind something, we can really change the trajectory of the environment we will be living and working in.”