Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

Amazon Launches Low-Cost Prime Membership For Medicaid Recipients

Amazon Launches Low-Cost Prime Membership For Medicaid Recipients

Last summer, Amazon began offering a discount rate of $5.99 per month for Prime memberships to customers receiving government assistance.

The online retail giant announced Wednesday it will offer Prime memberships for a monthly cost of $5.99 for those with a valid Medicaid card.

According to government data, some 68 million individuals are enrolled in Medicaid, the federal-state-funded health insurance program for needy and low-income people. Prime members have access to free two-day shipping on most items, same-day delivery in some locations and streaming music and videos.

Amazon Prime is getting a lot more affordable for Medicaid recipients. More than 42 million participate in the food stamps program, through what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

With the moves, Amazon is increasingly battling Walmart and other low-cost retailers for the wallets of those with less disposable income.

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Amazon Prime's core customers have typically been middle- and upper-class shoppers.

The move could also help Amazon siphon customers from Walmart, a major competitor that's focused for years on providing services for lower-income customers.

Inc. declined to say how many people signed up for Prime under the EBT card expansion, but Aaron Perrine, who oversees the program, says those that did sign up kept the service and were engaged Prime users. Eligible shoppers need to reapply once a year and are eligible for up to four years. If you receive Medicaid benefits, you can now get Prime at a discounted rate as well. The report found that there are 85 million Prime members in the US, spending an average of around $1,300 a year compared to $700 for non-Prime shoppers. Her youngest son has a rare genetic disorder that prevents her from working full time and makes going to the store more hard.

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

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