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Amazon’s latest move may be a big step toward accessible healthcare for all and lessening medical expense disparities.
The mega-retailer and tech giant shared Nov. 9 that Amazon Prime members can now access primary medical care services through its branch, One Medical. Services via the online and nationwide primary care provider include 24/7 virtual access to licensed medical professionals. Patients can also book same-day or next-day appointments “for common concerns such as cold symptoms and skin issues,” according to Forbes. There’s also a One Medical app, where users can message their medical providers via the primary care source, manage their prescriptions, and more.
For Prime members, adding One Medical to your membership costs $9 a month or $99 annually. Additionally, caretakers or families can attach up to five additional One Medical memberships for $6 a month or $66 annually. Notably, virtual care appointments are automatically included in the price at no additional cost.
One Medical patient doesn’t have to have medical insurance to take advantage of the provider’s 24/7 virtual care or be treated in its clinics. Walk-in patients can pay out of pocket or send their bills to their insurance provider if they have one. A list of insurance plans accepted by One Medical can be found here. The primary care provider also accepts Original Medicare and select Medicare Advantage plans.
One Medical’s primary care offices are available nationwide, including in Atlanta, Houston, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., and more.
Forbes outlined that Amazon acquired One Medical in 2022 and that the primary care provider is available to those without Prime for $199 a month.
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association [aka the JAMA Network] in 2021 found that in 2016, Black folksspent $7,361 on their health care on average. That sum breaks down to around $613 per month.
More updated information is lacking on how much health care costs the Black community, especially during COVID-19’s initial onslaught. In September 2023, data shared by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services — a governmental agency — noted that national health expenditures [NHE] were $12,914 annually per person in America in 2021. In plain terms, the latter number is what Americans individually spent on health care that year. On a monthly basis, it will cost around $1,076.
For more context on NHEs, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention reported the following:
“National health expenditures represent the amount spent on health care and related activities such as private and public health insurance, health research, and public health activities. Personal health care expenditures—which account for the largest shares of total national health expenditures— are outlays for goods and services relating directly to patient care, such as hospital care, physicians’ and dentists’ services, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, and nursing home care.”
MadameNoire has extensively reported on how the Black community is disproportionally impacted and affected by poor healthcare and medical outcomes. While accessibility and affordability to health care are essential, having culturally competent and considerate healthcare providers is too.
Would you try out One Medical? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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