Amazon discounts Prime membership for Medicaid recipients

  • Amazon discounts Prime membership for Medicaid recipients

Amazon discounts Prime membership for Medicaid recipients

To qualify for the discounted rate, customers must have a valid Medicaid card or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

Amazon is making another move in its courtship of lower-income shoppers, announcing a discount on its Amazon Prime monthly membership fee for recipients of Medicaid. Prime members can typically have goods delivered free in two days, with many items available for one-day or same-day shipping.

Industry analysts believe Amazon is maneuvering both to expand its Prime membership numbers, and to go after people whose first shopping destination may be Walmart.

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. Amazon does not report the number of prime members it now has. That brings down the price from $12.99/month to just $5.99/month. Amazon already offers a few discounts for Prime, such as ones to students and those receiving government assistance in the form of EBT benefits, but today it's adding a new one. As of 2016, roughly 44 million people got benefits from SNAP, the program formerly known as "food stamps". But customers won't be able to share their Prime membership with a second adult, as with a regularly priced Prime membership.

The New York Times says the move expands a previous Amazon effort started a year ago, when it offered Prime discounts to people with Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, used to distribute aid for food purchases.

The cheapest option for a typical Amazon Prime member is to pay $100 a year to renew their membership on an annual basis. The $5.99 membership can be renewed every year for up to four years. 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.

The low-income customer segment has always been Walmart's forte, and the retailer has its own products geared toward them, like low-fee checking accounts and money services that can be done in-store. He said Prime has helped save her time and money by helping her skip some of those errands.