Amazon to expand health care service across US

Rob Lever
·2-min read
Amazon will be offering a health care service through US employers that will allow instant acess to a medical provider online

Amazon announced plans Wednesday to launch a health care service to employers across the United States that would include quick access to telemedicine and home visits from medical professionals.

The initiative will make Amazon Care, which had been offered to a limited number of the tech giant's employees, available to "millions" of people as part of a workplace benefit, the company said.

"By supplying Amazon Care as a workplace benefit, employers are investing in the health and wellbeing of arguably their most important asset: their employees," a blog post by Amazon said.

The new initiative will offer "a range of urgent and primary care services" but will not replace comprehensive medical insurance.

Amazon Care includes a mobile app which will allow people to connect with medical professionals by video or chat "typically in less than 60 seconds."

A second element of the service available in some areas will involve in-person care in which Amazon will send a medical professional to a patient's home for certain services such as blood draws or limited exams.

Until now Amazon Care has been available to its own employees and their families in Washington state.

"Beginning this summer, Amazon Care will expand its virtual care to companies and Amazon employees in all 50 states across the US," the statement said.

Amazon Care's in-person service will expand to the cities of Washington and Baltimore and other locations in the coming months.

The new service will be available to "companies of all sizes" and will offer services including Covid-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health and prescription requests.

It comes following a period of spectacular growth by Amazon across several sectors and increased scrutiny by antitrust enforcers in the US and elsewhere.

Amazon said it decided to expand the program based on feedback from its employees and increased interest in telemedicine during the coronavirus pandemic.

A separate venture launched three years ago by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan aimed at providing broader health services to US firms was disbanded earlier this year.