Online retail giant Amazon is expanding its foothold in the telemedicine space, offering members who pay for its Prime service access to virtual care visits with a healthcare provider.
In announcing the plan, Amazon says televisits will cost $9 a month or $99 per year and will include the option to schedule in-person visits. All services are made possible through the national primary care organization One Medical, which Amazon acquired for $3.9 billion in February.
Televisits are covered by the subscription fee. However, while patients can schedule in-person visits at a One Medical location through Amazon, they will still have to cover the costs themselves or by having third-party insurance coverage.
The move to connect its Prime members to providers is the latest in a series of moves Amazon has made into healthcare. Others include a discount pharmacy service to compete with the likes of CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.
“Prime members also have exclusive access to benefits from Amazon Pharmacy, including RxPass, which lets members get as many eligible medications as they need for one flat fee of $5 per month and have them delivered free to their doors in two days or less, and Prime Rx, which helps members save up to 80% on prescriptions when not using insurance at Amazon Pharmacy and over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide,” Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime adds in the announcement.
One Medical has more than 200 medical offices in 20-plus markets. The healthcare organization was known for its own (more expensive) subscription service, which acted as de facto insurance coverage for primary care visits, both remote and in-person. Its members now must go through Amazon to maintain their benefits, according to One Medical’s website.
The virtual care services offered through the Amazon partnership include 24/7 access to a provider as well as simplified prescription renewals. Members can access services on most mobile devices through the One Medical app.