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Amazon Launches $9-a-Month Primary Health Care Services for Prime Members 

Amazon announced that Amazon Prime members can now access low-cost primary health care services with One Medical, including 24/7 on-demand telehealth care.
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amazon launches $9-a-month primary health care services for prime members 

Last week, Amazon announced that Amazon Prime members can now access low-cost primary health care services with One Medical, the health care business Amazon acquired last year for $3.9 billion. Prime members can subscribe to a One Medical membership for $9 a month, or $99 annually, on top of their existing Prime membership.

The One Medical membership includes unlimited access to 24/7 on-demand telehealth care, including video chats with licensed providers, according to Amazon's press release. Patients can schedule in-person visits at a One Medical office—currently located in 24, soon to be 25, major metropolitan areas across the U.S.—but additional fees apply for which customers will need to use insurance or pay out of pocket.

Amazon slashed the subscription plan's price from $144 for an annual subscription that it offered Prime members in July. Prime members can add up to five additional One Medical members, each for $6 a month. For non-Prime members, access to One Medical is available for $199 a year.

"When it is easier for people to get the care they need, they engage more in their health and realize better health outcomes," said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president, Amazon Health Services. “That's why we are bringing One Medical's exceptional experience to Prime members—it's health care that makes it dramatically easier to get and stay healthy."

The program launch is the latest attempt by Amazon to get into the healthcare business. In 2021, Amazon announced plans to expand into in-person medical care with the Amazon Care program, but ultimately shut it down after failing to connect with larger companies and more customers. In November 2020, the e-commerce giant launched Amazon Pharmacy, and in November 2022, it announced Amazon Clinic, a virtual healthcare marketplace. 

Amazon Clinic in particular received some privacy concern pushback, with its rollout to all 50 states this summer slightly delayed after Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Peter Welch (D-Vermont) wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy about concerns that Amazon could use customer data to promote other Amazon products and services, as reported by POLITICO. Their concerns were based on an article from the Washington Post—which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—reporting on unusually expansive and vague HIPAA authorization Amazon Clinic asks customers to accept.

In a blog post after receiving the letter, the company wrote: “Amazon doesn't sell customers' personal information. Amazon Clinic also doesn't use a customer's personal health information to market or advertise other products in the store. Customers have the option to accept or decline the HIPAA authorization before getting treatment—customers who decline can still receive care from Amazon Clinic."

AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023
In the News