Amazon introduces Prime discount for Medicaid recipients

Mar 08, 2018, 01:31
Amazon introduces Prime discount for Medicaid recipients

In turn, Walmart is also vying for Amazon customers, as the retailer has been significantly improving its online store in recent years to better compete against Amazon.

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

The new Prime discount is clearly intended as a way for Amazon to expand its shopper base.

Amazon has added Medicaid recipients to a program that offers a discount option for the popular Prime fast-shipping program to people on government assistance. Prime normally costs $99 yearly or $12.99 monthly. More than 42 million participate in the food stamps program, through what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The deal for Medicaid recipients is widely being portrayed as Amazon's strategy for "taking aim at Walmart" by wooing away low-income shoppers.

The online retail giant said Wednesday that it will extend its $5.99 monthly Prime membership to the roughly 20% of the USA population that is signed up for Medicaid.

Amazon has come under fire in the past for failing to accept EBT services. Amazon doesn't say how many Prime customers it has, but market research company Forrester Research says that the majority of American households with annual income over $100,000 already pay for a Prime subscription. Prime members have access to free two-day shipping on most items, same-day delivery in some locations and streaming music and videos. 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. If you receive Medicaid benefits, you can now get Prime at a discounted rate as well.

"They are enabling people who otherwise would be priced out", said Greengart. He mentioned Wendy, a single mom with four kids who lives in rural Missouri.

Obviously, the discounts help people save money compared to the normal cost of Amazon Prime.