March 7 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it was expanding its discounted Prime membership offer to Medicaid members, the U.S. government’s health insurance program for the poor.
The move from the e-commerce giant comes nine months after it said it would offer a discount on its popular Prime subscription service for shoppers who receive U.S. government aid.
To qualify for the discounted $5.99 monthly Prime membership, customers must have a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer or Medicaid card and can renew it annually for up to four years, the company said.
The $12.99-per month or $99-per-year prime service offers users added perks like low prices and faster delivery for certain purchases and shipped over 5 billion items worldwide last year.
Any push by Amazon into poorer demographics comes at a time when traditional brick-and-mortar suppliers like Walmart Inc have been fighting the online shopping giant’s arrival by seeking to attract more high-spending shoppers.
The Medicaid connection may also stir more nerves among healthcare companies worried about tentative moves by Amazon to sell and distribute some medical supplies and drugs. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)