Amazon Jumps Into The Healthcare Game With Rates As Low As $9
Amazon's strategy hinges on its ability to create consumer trust and parlay it into an increased share of the market.
Amazon is expanding its medical footprint. On Nov. 8, the company announced it would be offering its Prime members healthcare through One Medical, which it owns. According to Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, “When it is easier for people to get the care they need, they engage more in their health, and realize better health outcomes.
“That’s why we are bringing One Medical’s exceptional experience to Prime members—it’s healthcare that makes it dramatically easier to get and stay healthy.”
Amazon is making this service available to Prime members for $9 a month or $99 per year. Families can take advantage of the benefit and add up to five memberships, which cost $6 a month for each additional member or $66 a year. Per Amazon, this represents a savings of 50% off One Medical’s standard costs for healthcare benefits.
In addition to One Medical, Amazon offers Amazon Pharmacy benefits to Prime members. Its Rx Pass program charges a flat $5 fee for as many eligible prescriptions as a customer needs every month. Prime Rx, a different prescription savings program that’s similar to websites like GoodRx, allows members to save as much as 80% without insurance at Amazon’s pharmacy and 60,000 pharmacies nationwide.
The service comes after Amazon acquired One Medical in February 2023 for $3.9 billion. The American Hospital Association reported that this “represents Amazon’s growing interest in becoming a major player in the healthcare industry. Amazon’s strategy hinges on its ability to create consumer trust and parlaying that into an increased share of the market.”
However, as CNN reported, ahead of the purchase, the FTC warned Amazon to pursue it at its own risk. The FTC is concerned primarily with Amazon’s potential to use consumer healthcare data for other purposes, such as targeted advertising or e-commerce.
“The FTC’s investigation of Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical continues,” Douglas Farrar, the FTC’s spokesman, told the network. “The commission will continue to look at possible harms to competition created by this merger, as well as possible harms to consumers that may result from Amazon’s control and use of sensitive consumer health information held by One Medical.”
Even though Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS, and Walmart recently agreed to pay $13 billion to settle state and local lawsuits related to the American opioid crisis, they remain atop the healthcare marketplace. Walgreens Boots Alliance, despite rumors of financial instability amid several settlements over opioids and a planned $1 billion in budget cuts over the next few years, is still one of the largest pharmacy chains in the country. Via a statement, it told Reuters:
“As one of the largest pharmacy chains in the nation, we remain committed to being a part of the solution, and this settlement framework will allow us to keep our focus on the health and wellbeing of our customers and patients, while making positive contributions to address the opioid crisis.”
Walgreens and CVS were dismissive regarding the impact of pharmacy worker strikes, with Walgreens informing CNN that the strikes in October related to patient safety had “minimal” impact.
CVS, meanwhile, emphasized its commitment to patient safety, telling CNN that same month, “We’re committed to providing access to consistent, safe, high-quality healthcare to the patients and communities we serve and are engaging in a continuous two-way dialogue with our pharmacists to directly address any concerns they have.”