Cheaper Amazon Prime for Medicaid Recipients

Amazon is taking aim at Walmart by offering a 54 percent discount on Prime memberships for Medicaid recipients

Amazon is offering a discount on its Prime membership to the millions of Medicaid recipients in the USA, according to media reports, taking another step to wooing lower-income shoppers and keeping pressure on Walmart Inc. Such cards are typically made available to US residents who receive funds from government assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).

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

Since June, Amazon has offered the same Prime discount to people using food stamps or other government assistance through an Electronic Benefit Transfer card. Prime provides free same-day and one-day shipping, online streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage and early access to select Lightning Deals. In a similar effort, Amazon previous year also introduced Amazon Cash, a way to help people without bank accounts load money into their Amazon accounts.

Amazon's move may affect Walmart, who's favored by low-income customers. In turn, Walmart is also vying for Amazon customers, as the retailer has been significantly improving its online store in recent years to better compete against Amazon.

The discounted Prime membership is the latest effort from Amazon to expand its service to low-income families and individuals.

Amazon said it's offering the promotion for up to four years. There is no annual commitment and customers can cancel the membership at any time.

Getting more Prime members could financially benefit Amazon, as subscribers already spend an average of $1,700 per year - compared to just $700 for non-Prime shoppers. The Prime promo price is only available to adult Medicaid cardholders.

The discounted membership price works out to about $72 for 12 months. Her youngest son has a rare genetic disorder that prevents her from working full time and makes going to the store more hard.

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