In its latest move to offer healthcare, Amazon announced Wednesday that it will offer low-cost healthcare benefits to Prime members.
The tech company’s new partnership with One Medical, the healthcare company purchased by Amazon last year, will offer Prime members “a care team available and ready to welcome members.”
A One Medical subscription covers unlimited access to all-day, on-demand virtual care, including video chats and in-app treatment for “quick care for common problems.”
The annual fee includes in-person visits to One Medical clinics in the United States, but they require additional payments that are paid out of pocket or through insurance plans.
The plan is available to Prime members for $9 per month or $99 per year on top of their existing Prime membership. Members can add up to five additional memberships, each for $6 per month. When the companies announced the merger, they initially said memberships would be available for $144, but they reduced the cost to attract new customers.
“When it is easier for people to get the care they need, they become more engaged in their health and achieve better health outcomes,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Health Services. Amazon Health, in a press release. “That’s why we’re bringing the exceptional One Medical experience to Prime members: it’s healthcare that makes achieving and maintaining good health much easier.
The move is the e-commerce company’s latest move to strengthen its healthcare business, after several failed attempts to enter the market.
Amazon announced that it will expand its business operations into in-person medical care in 2021, with plans to open doctor’s offices in more than 20 cities. The company ultimately announced it would shut down its Amazon Care home health service by the end of 2022 after being unable to connect with larger companies and more customers.
Amazon Clinic delayed its launch over the summer after Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Amazon executives expressing concerns that the service endangers users’ private health data. The senators cited a Washington Post investigation that showed how Amazon Clinic users must give up their rights to large amounts of their private health data in order to use the service.
Amazon Clinic tested drone delivery of prescription medications in two cities. Amazon’s telehealth services are aimed at virtual care to provide treatment for conditions or receive treatment for relatively minor health problems.
The popularity of telehealth exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and has remained a preferred method of receiving care since the pandemic.
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