Amazon, Google and Apple are teaming up to offer free devices to Medicaid recipients in the U.S.
A federal health official said Monday that Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple were among companies offering free devices.
The announcement by HHS Secretary Eric Hargan was made in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Larry Page and Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Satya Nadella.
The companies have all said they are partnering to offer devices to the Medicaid program, which has been struggling to cope with the surge in people seeking medical care from the program.
They will provide a free smartphone to Medicaid beneficiaries for 30 days and a $1.5 million grant to help them purchase devices and other medical supplies.
“We are committed to helping our Medicaid program reach its full potential,” the letter said.
Hargan said he was “thrilled” to announce the partnership and said it would help fill gaps in the program’s delivery of care.
He also said Amazon and Google would make the devices available through the federal health insurance exchange.
Apple has said it will offer free iPhone 7s and iPhones 7 models to Medicaid enrollees, and Google is making an iPhone 7 Plus.
Amazon said it is also offering free Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8 Plus devices.
The new smartphones have a larger screen and are priced higher than the previous models.
Microsoft said it has also begun to offer new iPhones for Medicaid enrollee to help alleviate their financial burden.
It is not clear how many people have already signed up.
Apple CEO Tim Hunt has been vocal in his criticism of the Medicaid expansion.
He has said the expansion is too expensive and is not the right way to address Medicaid needs.
The Obama administration has proposed a plan to help states expand Medicaid, which was endorsed by Republicans but opposed by Democrats.
Republicans have criticized the plan as too expensive, and some have suggested that states could opt out of the program and rely on private insurers for coverage.