Online retail giant Amazon.com has announced that it will begin offering membership in its Prime shopping club at about a 50% discount to lower income Americans yesterday. The company announced it will offer Prime membership to Medicaid recipients at $5.99 per month. Regular price for the benefits program is $12.99 per month.
Amazon Prime members receive free two-day shipping on orders as well as access to television shows and movies listed in the company’s Prime Video section. Members also get free access to dozens of popular magazines and books in digital format.
Individuals that have a valid Medicaid insurance card or an Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, card are eligible for the discount. The discounted rate can be renewed every year for up to four years. This is no annual commitment and customers can cancel at any time.
The move comes on the heels of the company’s announcement last year that they were extending the discounted rate to individuals enrolled in a variety of government assistance programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).
“We know when people try Prime they love it, because they save time and money with low prices on millions of items, unlimited access to premium videos and music, and fast, convenient delivery,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime, in the wake of the company’s announcement last year.
“We designed this membership option for customers receiving government assistance to make our everyday selection and savings more accessible, including the many conveniences and entertainment benefits of Prime,” he added.
A recent report from Consumer Intelligence Research partners found that customers with Prime membership are more profitable for Amazon, spending an average of roughly $1,300 a year compared to only $700 for non-Prime customers.