Amazon Launches Low-Cost Prime Membership For Medicaid Recipients

Amazon Launches Low-Cost Prime Membership For Medicaid Recipients

Amazon Launches Low-Cost Prime Membership For Medicaid Recipients

Amazon is expanding its discounted Prime membership to Medicaid recipients. For the same price of $5.99 per month, Amazon offers Prime memberships to any USA customer with a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card - the card that's used to disburse funds for assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).

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.

A Prime membership includes free two-day shipping and streaming access to movies, TV shows and music. In June, Amazon first introduced this discounted price for shoppers who receive government assistance in the form of an Electronic Benefits Transfer card.

Amazon is seemingly shopping for new customers given that many upper-income consumers have already subscribed to Prime in the past. Qualified customers would be able to renew their Amazon Prime subscriptions annually at the discounted rate for up to four years, Amazon said. When the program launched past year, it was open to customers with an EBT card.

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Amazon Prime's core customers have typically been middle- and upper-class shoppers.

With the moves, Amazon is increasingly battling Walmart and other low-cost retailers for the wallets of those with less disposable income. A Morgan Stanley survey found 40% of Amazon Prime members spend over $1,000 a year on Amazon compared to 8% of non-Prime customers.

"The ability to order things online and have them shipped directly to your door within a quick time frame, people in higher earning demographics have long seen this as a convenience that changes the way they shop", Avi Greengart, an industry analyst with GlobalData, told USA Today. He said Prime has helped save her time and money by helping her skip some of those errands.

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