Amazon expands discounted Prime to Medicaid recipients

Amazon has been working to offer more services for lower-income shoppers including discounted Prime memberships and Amazon Cash.                  Getty Images

The Medicaid connection may also stir more nerves among healthcare companies anxious about tentative moves by Amazon to sell and distribute some medical supplies and drugs.

Inc. said on Wednesday it was expanding its discounted Prime membership offer to Medicaid members, the US government's health insurance program for the poor. This follows a previous outreach effort aimed at those with cards used in other public assistance programs.

Amazon also clearly hopes the discount will sway lower-income shoppers who may balk at the Prime membership. Data show that low-income customers tend to go to the latter, while middle- and upper-income customers lean toward Amazon.

The Prime members will still receive benefits of full paying members such as Prime Video, Music, Photos, Reading, Audible channels, Prime Now, and even free same-day and one-day shipping.

Lessons From West Virginia
Jim Justice to bump up their pay 2 per cent in the first year as they also complained about rising health insurance costs. He said Tuesday that additional budget cuts by his staff will enable all state workers to also get 5 percent raises.

The online retail giant announced Wednesday morning that Medicaid recipients are eligible for Prime for $5.99 a month, a 54% discount from the normal rate of $12.99 a month. They can renew their discounted Amazon Prime membership every year, for up to four years, and can cancel anytime. A Morgan Stanley survey found 40% of Amazon Prime members spend over $1,000 a year on Amazon compared to 8% of non-Prime customers. More than 42 million participate in the food stamps program, through what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Amazon doesn't say how many Prime customers it has, but market research company Forrester Research says that the majority of American households with annual income over $100,000 already pay for a Prime subscription.

To qualify for for the discounted membership, customers can visit Amazon.com/qualify and upload an image of their EBT card or Medicaid card. The Prime promo price is only available to adult Medicaid cardholders.

Perrine said his company spoke with customers who enrolled in discounted Prime to get a better idea of how people use the service.

"I think customers that have tried this plan have seen enormous value from it", he added.

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