Prescription Benefits Program

Kalamazoo College is proud to partner with Ascend PBM for our prescription benefits.

TIPS: When filling prescriptions, be sure your pharmacy provider has your new ID card information loaded in their system to avoid claims processing issues. ID cards were sent to your home address in mid-June 2022. Be sure your address has been updated with Human Resources if you have recently moved.

Member Portal

Access helpful resources and prescription information anytime you’d like through our online member portal! (Available after June 25th). To access the member portal, visit and click on the Member Portal button in the top right-hand corner.
Register by creating a username and password. To gain access, you’ll need your Group Number and Member ID. Once you access the portal, you will be able to review your prescription history, order refills for your mail order prescriptions, find a convenient ‘in-network’ pharmacy, print a copy of your Prescription ID Card, and much more.To find detailed information about the plan, members will need to register for (or login to) the Member Portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started on the Ascend member portal?

Visit to get started with registration or logging in to the Member Portal. To register for the portal, go to:
You will need the below information:

  • Group Number
  • Member ID Number
  • Date of Birth

If you do not have your Group Number, Member ID Number, call the Help Desk at 833.200.5040.

If you’re having an issue at a pharmacy, please give them a copy of your Pharmacy ID Card (as found within the portal). Call the Help Desk at 833.200.5040 for support. Please note: Spouse and Dependents age 18 years or older require a separate member portal login unless a signed HIPAA release is on file with ASCENDpbm.

Will my medication(s) be covered by my insurance?

Yes, all member’s current medication(s) will remain covered upon the transition; however, the place you obtain the medication may require a change. Going forward, any new medications you may be prescribed will be subject to the plans Preferred Drug List (PDL). The PDL is located at:, available after June 6th 2022. If you have additional questions please reach out to the Ascend help desk at 833.200.5040 (

Your Human Resources office can also provide you with the current formulary list.

What will my medication(s) cost?

The Copays for Brand and Generics will remain the same ($10 generics and $20 for Brands). A new opportunity to lower member’s costs exists for Specialty Medications that includes an a $250 cash incentive through international sourcing. Specialty medications may still be source through the preferred specialty pharmacy for $25. If you have questions our member support team will help you understand coverage, discuss cost details specific to you, and will investigate savings opportunities.

How do I get my prescriptions?

ASCEND has over 65,000 retail pharmacies in its preferred network. To ensure your pharmacy is “in network” and to find network pharmacies near you, use our pharmacy search tool located on the AscendPBM website: .

Your employer and ASCEND prioritized expertise, quality of care, and ease of access in developing a pharmacy network for you. Depending on your treatment, you may obtain your prescriptions through a broad network of retail pharmacies (which includes chain, grocery store, or local independent pharmacies), a mail order pharmacy (for maintenance medications), or the plan’s preferred specialty pharmacy (for complex, infused, or injected medications). Necessary steps to receive your medications through these specialized providers, as well as details on how to participate in available prescription savings programs are outlined within this welcome packet and on your web page; which will be available after June 6th 2022.

What can I do to ensure a smooth transition?
  • Refill current medications prior to the transition to ensure you don’t run out in the days immediately following the transition.
  • Checking to ensure your medications are on the Preferred Drug List.
  • Accessing the Pharmacy Finder to find an ‘in-network’ pharmacy near you.
Is there an option for mail order?

Rather than visiting a pharmacy month after month, you can save time and money by having maintenance medications delivered right to your home. A Maintenance Medication is a drug you take on a regular basis to treat or control a chronic illness such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. When you get your maintenance medication through mail order, shipping is free and you may get a 90-day supply of medications for less than what you will pay at a retail pharmacy. Follow these steps to get started.

  1. Let your doctor know that you would like to receive your prescriptions via mail order and ask that they send a 90-day e-prescription to OptiMed. Provide your physician the required information below.
    Doctors Search your EMR for:
    OptiMed (Kalamazoo MI, 49009)
    NPI: 1033489562 NCPDP: 2376223
    P: 877.232.2857, F: 877.326.2856
  2. Give OptiMed a call at 877.232.2857. Our support team will collect the required information, including your mailing address, and let you know when you can expect to receive your medication.
What is International Mail Order all about?

Brand medications are often manufactured and distributed from other countries prior to entering the US drug supply chain (examples: Canada, England, New Zealand). By electing to have your medications shipped directly from an International pharmacy, you can often receive a larger quantity of your medications, have your cost share waived, and may qualify to receive a cash incentive.

You may reach out to Ascend and see if your medications are available on this program or our help desk may reach out to you directly. Members with questions about the program should call the ASCEND Help Desk at 833.200.5040. Our member support team will answer questions regarding your specific medication and ensure you have the medication you need while the program is initiated.

Are there any options to save money locally for specialty medications?

Yes! Specialty Medications are often very expensive and prescribed to treat rare or complex diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and rare genetic conditions. These medications often require special handling and additional services to support patients and are only available from select pharmacies known as Specialty Pharmacies.

Your Plan selected OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy to fulfill specialty prescriptions and provide high-touch services to members taking specialty medications. OptiMed’s team has the expertise and a passion for helping patients with rare and complex diseases.
OptiMed offers:

  • 24/7 access to clinical pharmacists providing comprehensive care, tailored support services, and a care team to support members throughout their treatment
  • FREE delivery of all medications & supplies
  • Proactive REFILL contact & processing
  • Financial support & insurance investigators

Getting started with OptiMed’s Specialty Pharmacy Services:

  1. Ask your physician to send your prescription to OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy. Provide your physician the required information below.
    Doctors Search your EMR for:
    OptiMed (Kalamazoo MI, 49009)
    NPI: 1033489562 NCPDP: 2376223
    P: 877.232.2857, F: 877.326.2856
  2. Give OptiMed a call at 877.232.2857. You’ll speak to a care specialist who will gather the information required to ensure you get the medication you need when and where you need it. Our care specialists can answer questions you may have regarding your medication and will investigate cost savings options as soon as they receive your prescription.

Members on specialty pharmacy infusion or injection-based therapies may find Remote Services a more convenient and comfortable option, while saving you money. If you are taking a medication that is infused (via an IV) or given as an injection by a healthcare professional, you have options available which promote exceptional care and lower costs. Remote Services are a more convenient and clinically appropriate option for many, reducing risk of exposure to other illnesses and offering a safe and flexible service option to meet member needs. When remote services are an option, a care specialist will contact you to discuss the benefits and how to get started.
*Remote Infusion therapy may be an option for some patients. Site of care will be determined based on the patient’s medical provider(s), medical status, safety considerations of the medication, drug labeling, and payer specifications. Visit to learn more about services, treatment, therapy options and more.

Who can I contact with questions?

The Ascend Help Desk is eager to help you get the most out of your drug benefit. Call directly at 833.200.5040 for:

  • Anytime your pharmacy has issues processing your prescription.
  • Questions regarding your drug benefit
  • To understand the formulary status and copay for your medications
  • To get enrolling in mail order, International Mail order, or specialty pharmacy services
  • To get assistance in accessing to the member portal
  • To find out what retail pharmacies are in network near you.

Phone: 833.200.5040
Text: 269.399.5599 (SMS message are not secure. Please avoid specific patient information.)

Please contact ASCEND Help Desk for support: By Phone: 833.200.5040 or by email:

Please contact your Human Resources department for support and/or receive this information in printed format.