Amazon expands discounted Prime to Medicaid recipients

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 subscriptions normally cost $12.99 per month, or $99 per year, but Amazon just announced it will give a $7 discount on the monthly rate to Medicaid recipients.

Amazon is offering customers with Medicaid a 54% discount on its popular Prime membership.

An Amazon Prime membership includes perks such as two-day shipping on more than 100 million products, unlimited photo storage and free online streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows.

Most of these potential customers are younger or have a lower income than Amazon's traditionally well-heeled Prime members.

The New York Times says the move expands a previous Amazon effort started a year ago, when it offered Prime discounts to people with Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, used to distribute aid for food purchases.

When Amazon rolled out its discounted Prime rate to EBT cardholders last summer, the Wall Street Journal described it as a move to steal business away from Walmart, which sees a huge portion of its sales from SNAP beneficiary customers. More than 42 million participate in the food stamps program, through what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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The move could also help Amazon siphon customers from Walmart, a major competitor that's focused for years on providing services for lower-income customers.

"They are enabling people who otherwise would be priced out", said Greengart.

"We hope to make Prime even more accessible", said Cem Sibay, Vice President, Amazon Prime.

To qualify for for the discounted membership, customers can visit Amazon.com/qualify and upload an image of their EBT card or Medicaid card.

Amazon is slashing the price of its Prime Membership for lower-income Americans. After a 6-month free trial, students pay $6.49 a month or $49 a year for Prime. He mentioned Wendy, a single mom with four kids who lives in rural Missouri.

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