The discounted program charges eligible customers $5.99 per month, down from the regular monthly price of $12.99, and it comes with free two-day shipping as well as all the benefits like Prime Video, Prime Photos and others. When the program launched last year, it was open to customers with an EBT card.
Now those with a valid Medicaid card are also eligible for the discount Prime program. Customers can qualify for the program every 12 months up to four times, and Amazon has said it plans to add other ways for people on assistance to qualify in the future.
As part of the expansion announcement, Amazon released a promotional video touting the program’s benefits. In a press release, the company quoted a variety of customers, all of whom have trouble getting to the store for a variety of reasons like medical issues, busy schedules and taking care of others.
The program aims to give people who might not otherwise be able to afford it access to Prime. For Amazon, it also opens up a new customer base.
Amazon Prime membership has been growing rapidly in recent years, and a recent study showed that Prime members spend almost twice as much as non-Prime customers on an annual basis — $1,300 versus $700. Perhaps the biggest example of Amazon’s attempt to widen its customer base came in 2016, when it added the monthly payment option as an alternative to the $99 annual fee.