Medicaid Recipients Can Now Get a Discount on Amazon Prime


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.

Last summer, Amazon began offering a discount rate of $5.99 per month for Prime memberships to customers receiving government assistance. This follows a previous outreach effort aimed at those with cards used in other public assistance programs.

Now those with a valid Medicaid card are also eligible for the discount Prime program.

The new Prime discount is clearly intended as a way for Amazon to expand its shopper base. Prime membership for students is $6.49 a month.

Medicaid is the government program that helps provide health coverage for many low-income families and disabled individuals. When the program launched past year, it was open to customers with an EBT card. Prime normally costs $99 yearly or $12.99 monthly.

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About 41 million people receive food stamp benefits, according to November 2017 data, and over 80% of SNAP benefits are redeemed at supermarkets and superstores.

Regardless of the larger retail battles being waged, are cheaper $5.99 Amazon memberships actually a good deal for poor people? And yes, an Amazon Prime subscription brings with the possibility of saving money in other ways: In addition to lower prices and free shipping often available at Amazon, Prime members could theoretically cut their spending by canceling Netflix, Spotify, or other streaming services and using Amazon's free options instead.

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.

Avi Greengart, an industry analyst at GlobalData, said the discount could be helpful to Medicaid recipients with medical issues who can't make it to the store to buy heavy items, such as laundry detergent, or who can't spend more than $25 on every order to qualify for free shipping.