Amazon Prime is both bigger and slimmer, even with healthcare option

Amazon has redesigned offerings and add-ons for Amazon Prime users, including a $9 per month healthcare supplement, that can obscure the apples-to-apples value of the subscription's price tag. 

So is the take from Nicole Nguyen, personal tech columnist at The Wall Street Journal

Amazon Prime launched in 2005 as an Amazon membership service offering free two-day shipping. Ms. Nguyen analyzed how the annual fee for Amazon Prime went from $79 a decade ago to $139 today. "If you adjust for inflation, Amazon Prime's 2005 fee of $79 is about $127 in today's dollars, less than the current $139," she writes.

Amazon launched in November an option for Prime users to add on One Medical memberships for $9 per month or $99 annually. The discounted rate gives users unlimited 24/7 virtual visits and online scheduling for same- or next-day appointments at One Medical's more than 200 brick-and-mortar clinics. Amazon acquired One Medical in early 2023 for $3.9 billion. 

The value of bundles like Amazon Prime can be difficult for consumers to measure, particularly when perks are added and limited simultaneously. For instance, Amazon expanded its ad-free Prime Music catalog from 2 million to 100 million songs in 2022 while also restricting the function that allows customers to play songs on demand.

The subscriptions added or restricted within Prime have made for a “hotly debated topic” within Amazon, according to reporting last fall before the bolt-on of One Medical services to the model. Launching too many standalone services could dilute the Prime brand or ratchet its price tag up to a level no longer seen by consumers as a good deal. 

A fully loaded Prime subscription with add-ons above could cost users upwards of $320 a year, Ms. Nguyen tallied. She did more math on the subscription's value in her column, found in full here.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars