Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Amazon Discounts Prime Membership by 54% for Customers With Medicaid

Amazon Discounts Prime Membership by 54% for Customers With Medicaid

Amazon announced Wednesday that it will offer a low-priced version of its Amazon Prime membership program to qualifying Medicaid recipients.

Starting Tuesday, people insured by the US government health system will be able to use Medicaid cards to qualify for a $5.99-a-month Prime tier. Prime typically costs $12.99 a month or $99 for those paying a one-time yearly fee.

Almost 70 million people are enrolled in Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income people and those with disabilities. About 30 million American adults receive federal food assistance.

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. Amazon also previous year began a program to deliver groceries to food-stamp recipients.

Amazon Prime has been a hit with more affluent customers, but the membership fee likely has been a hurdle for the less affluent. But it's not altruism; Amazon Prime has been widely adopted by middle-class and well-off Americans, so if the membership program is going to continue to grow in the USA, the company has to figure out how to attract other demographics.

The program aims to give people who might not otherwise be able to afford it access to Prime.

Regardless of the larger retail battles being waged, are cheaper $5.99 Amazon memberships actually a good deal for poor people? This isn't a pared back version of Prime, either, as you'll get all of the extras those paying full price for their subscription do. And yes, an Amazon Prime subscription brings with the possibility of saving money in other ways: In addition to lower prices and free shipping often available at Amazon, Prime members could theoretically cut their spending by canceling Netflix, Spotify, or other streaming services and using Amazon's free options instead.

Now those with a valid Medicaid card are also eligible for the discount Prime program. He said Prime has helped save her time and money by helping her skip some of those errands.

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