Seattle, WA— Everyone has been talking for months about Amazon’s big healthcare partnership, but earlier this month, the company made another bold foray into a new customer segment: Medicaid recipients. The retail giant began offering its Prime subscription to these low-income households at $5.99 a month, less than half the regular price. With nearly 70 million low-income Americans enrolled in the public insurer, the approach could certainly help Amazon break through to an entirely new audience. Historically, the company has been winning over high-earning households—recent research suggesting that the vast majority of US households with incomes in the six figures and up have Prime memberships. But in light of other recent company news, this move could point to more than just a new source of revenue.
Why This Matters—
As of late last year, Amazon acquired pharmacy licenses that offer the freedom to become a wholesale distributor of medications in a dozen+ states. Combine that with the headlines surrounding the Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JPMorgan Chase foray into healthcare and countless possibilities emerge: from replacing Walmart as a primary retailer for low-income households to becoming an enabler of virtual HCP visits and prescription refills. Amazon’s Show and Fire tablets already offer a platform capable of supporting video consults and Alexa’s ever-growing voice-enabled skills could bring efficiency to answering patient questions before and after these virtual HCP visits. Rather than sitting back and watching Amazon, Alphabet and Apple revolutionize healthcare, savvy healthcare marketers should ask how they can become part of the movement through proactive partnerships with tomorrow’s healthcare leaders.