Amazon Discounts Prime Membership by 54% for Customers With Medicaid

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

Amazon expands discounted Prime program for people on government assistance to cover Medicaid

Prime gives customers free two-day shipping and other perks like free video streaming and access to the Prime Now two-hour delivery service.

Amazon also clearly hopes the discount will sway lower-income shoppers who may balk at the Prime membership. But Medicaid members will only have to pay $5.99 after a 30-day free trial period. Prime normally costs $99 yearly or $12.99 monthly.

Almost 70 million people are enrolled in Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income people and those with disabilities.

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The online retailer opened its discounted $5.99-a-month Prime membership on Wednesday to people on Medicaid, giving it an even bigger pool of potential shoppers who may otherwise have been unable to pay the standard fee. Walmart, meanwhile, accounts for 18% of annual spending through the food stamps program, which is formally called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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's move comes nearly nine months after it said previously that it would offer customers on USA government aid discounted membership fees.

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Amazon is slashing the price of its Prime Membership for lower-income Americans.

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. The new offer is valid for up to four years, Amazon told Reuters. More than 74 million Americans - or more than 20% of the population - were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as of the end of 2017.

All recipients of either EBT or Medicaid benefits need to do is show their card and verify their status with Amazon by taking a picture.

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