Amazon Offers Discount Prime Membership to Medicaid Recipients

Amazon is taking aim at Walmart by offering a 54 percent discount on Prime memberships for Medicaid recipients

Gizmodo reports that the online retail giant is offering its Prime program to Medicaid recipients at a steep discount - $5.99 a month as compared to the usual $12.99. Cancel anytime.In addition to free two day shipping, a Prime membership offers other perks including thousands of movies and TV shows, over two million songs, exclusive deals, free two hour shipping with Prime Now, discounts on subscriptions, and more.

The move vastly expands the number of people now eligible for that discounted rate, with about 35 million American adults enrolled in Medicaid, the public health insurance program for people with low income.

Since June, Amazon has offered the same Prime discount to people using food stamps or other government assistance through an Electronic Benefit Transfer card.

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. For Amazon, it also opens up a new customer base.

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

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This is part of Amazon's play to go after lower-income customers.

"They are enabling people who otherwise would be priced out", said Greengart.

To qualify for for the discounted membership, customers can visit Amazon.com/qualify and upload an image of their EBT card or Medicaid card. 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 US, the company has to figure out how to attract other demographics.

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.

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

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