Amazon is cutting Medicaid recipients a (small) break. Low-income and needy Americans enrolled in the government-funded health insurance program can now get an Amazon Prime membership for $5.99 a month or $72 a year.
A standard Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping, streaming access and exclusive shopping deals, costs $12.99 a month or $99 a year.
An expansion effort
The move expands on earlier efforts from Amazon to cut Prime prices for low-income shoppers. Last June, it announced Americans with a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer could purchase a $5.99 a month membership.
EBT cards are used to pay out funds for government assistance programs, like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program.
Amazon's expansion is significant. More than 74.4 million people are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. They are now eligible for an over 50% discount on the popular membership.
How the new Prime discount works
To qualify, customers must take a photo of their Medicaid card and upload it to Amazon's website. They can do the same with their EBT card or simply enter their EBT account number. Members can renew at the discount rate for up to four years and cancel any time.
Qualifying for Medicaid
Medicaid covers health care for low-income pregnant women, children, parents or caretakers and elderly or disabled citizens. In states that opted for Medicaid expansion, as permitted under former President Barack Obama's health care law, single adults making less than 133% of the Federal Poverty Level can also get coverage. However, the Trump administration has allowed some states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs.
You can see what is specifically required to qualify where you live in our state-by-state guide to Medicaid.