Amazon launches a low-cost version of Prime for Medicaid recipients

by admin March 11, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Amazon announced this morning it will offer a low-cost version of its Prime membership program to qualifying recipients of Medicaid. The program will bring the cost of Prime down from the usual $12.99 per month to about half that, at $5.99 per month, while still offering the full range of Prime perks, including free, two-day shipping on millions of products, Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, Prime Reading, Prime Now, Audible Channels, and more.

The new program is an expansion on Amazon’s discounted Prime service for customers on government assistance, launched in June 2017. For the same price of $5.99 per month, Amazon offers Prime memberships to any U.S. customer with a valid 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).

Now that same benefit is arriving for recipients of Medicaid, the public assistance program providing medical coverage to low-income Americans. To qualify for the discount, customers must have a valid EBT or Medicaid card, the retailer says.

While it seems like online shopping – and especially a Prime membership – should be a luxury for those who can afford the convenience, Amazon and other retailers are increasingly seeing it as something that should be broadly accessible to all.

For low-income customers, online stores can sometimes have the best prices, compared with local retailers, allowing them to save on everyday needs. In addition, driving to and from a store isn’t always easy, either – especially because some low-income shoppers don’t have regular (or any) access to a vehicle.

Plus, Prime includes an up to 20 percent discount on wipes and diapers, which can help low-income families with babies save.